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I never thought...

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SurvivingIndiana posted 8/19/2020 01:06 AM

I never thought I would find myself here.

Infidelity, even as a hypothetical, was always just anathema to me. I couldn’t finish books that involved adultery, I even changed the radio station whenever those songs came on - you probably know the ones I’m talking about.

I looked at communities like this with overwhelming pity, but also a prideful sense of gratitude and security in the knowledge that I had fallen in love with an incredible partner, and I would never need to write a post next to yours.

And now you’re reading it.

It’s going to be tremendously long - I know that already, and I’m sorry in advance for it. This is probably one of those "grab the whole bottle of wine and settle in" kind of posts, and I understand if it's too much. I’ve put this off for almost two months now; it was just too difficult to write out every time I tried before, and now all I really have to show for it is two more months of struggling and doubt and reflection to add to the story. But I’m grateful to have a community like this here to share it with, and to see all of the posters and commenters here still moving forward, each of you living reminders that it’s possible to survive this.

We weren’t married. We don’t have kids, and my relationship wasn’t nearly as long as so many of the others I see here. I feel almost guilty for letting myself get swallowed up by the grief and betrayal when so many of you seem to have lost even more, knowing that my pain must be just a fraction of what those with children and long-term marriages have endured. But it’s still more than enough.

My WS (27f) and I (29m) were together for three years. Neither of us expected to find a long-term relationship when we met each other, or were even particularly looking for one, but immediately after our first date that mentality vanished. The first two years were as close to perfect as I have ever experienced in a relationship. We went almost a year before our first fight, and ended up celebrating it as a milestone as soon as we realized it was finally happening. We moved in together very quickly, and it was a seamless transition. She was - I thought - everything I never even knew I was looking for. I’ve always been a bit commitment-averse, but I could already genuinely see myself spending the rest of my life with no one else.

After two years, around the summer of 2019, something began to shift. At first, it wasn’t all that noticeable: She wasn’t as affectionate, she didn’t do much of anything for our 2nd anniversary, she just didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic about our future. But we remained very much in love, and happy. A few months later though, that fall, I began to notice her growing distant. I could tell she was struggling with something, but any questions about it were dismissed or turned aside. Intimacy dwindled away as she began to brush off my touches because she was “busy” or “tired” or “feeling gross” after work, until sex was almost nonexistent. She was preoccupied with something, some concern or fear or doubt, but as much as I would ask about it, she just wasn’t comfortable discussing it with me yet. I gave her space.

She began to seek advice from other people then - coworkers, friends, people who didn’t really have the full picture of our relationship, and only heard her concerns presented in a vacuum. So, naturally, they focused on those concerns, and magnified them. They tried to be supportive by not dismissing her fears, but in turn only made them seem all the more valid and terrifying to her, when in truth they weren’t much worse than what every other couple goes through occasionally. That’s not to make light of her worries, because they were absolutely legitimate and worth discussing, but they were also very solvable - especially if we had just confronted them together, as they arose, one at a time.

Toward the end of 2019, she pulled further away. She walled herself off emotionally as she fell into her doubts. I was growing desperate. I pleaded with her to tell me what was going on, why she was shutting me out, why she didn’t seem to want me to even touch her anymore. What I had done wrong? What was so horrible about me that I had to atone for, to fix somehow? Why did she seem to resent me and detest me for no reason that I could understand? She still couldn’t discuss any of it with me, in part because of her own unresolved demons from her experience with a horrendously abusive (ironically unfaithful) ex-husband, and her fear of abandonment - that revealing any doubts to me about our future would somehow lessen her value in my eyes, and I would throw her away as he did.

So before I could abandon her (a pathological fear she still struggles with after that relationship), she distanced herself from me instead. But that left a void - her codependency hadn’t vanished, but when she pulled away from me in this attempt to protect herself from being hurt, she also deprived herself of the person who made her feel valued and appreciated.

Around this time, she did a rotation with a different unit at her workplace. She performed exceptionally well. Work became her focus, because she had begun seeking validation there that she thought she could no longer get from me. After that rotation, she added everyone from that unit as a friend on facebook, including a surgeon in his 50s. They exchanged some pleasantries, mostly work-related, and she viewed him as a valuable professional contact. Around November they started talking a bit more frequently on facebook. I wasn’t aware at the time, but he was already flirting with her there - pushing personal boundaries, then pulling back and apologizing for it before she could call him out, or even realize he’d crossed a line. But of course from then on, the line had moved slightly, and he could push it a bit farther the next time.

She didn’t discourage his flirting. She craved the attention, it made her feel valued and appreciated in a way that I no longer could after she had distanced herself from me emotionally. And yet it was something she needed, as a codependent person with a deep-seated terror of being abandoned or viewed as worthless.

He began to talk to her about our relationship, subtly discouraging her from staying with me and feeding her doubts. The conversation moved to texting. I later learned that they met up for lunch together around this time, shortly before Christmas. We went on a cruise to the Bahamas to swim with dolphins (her dream) - she texted him from the beach there, lying next to me. She had started hiding her phone screen from me, exiting out of whatever she was doing when I came into the room. She later claimed that she had been researching the concerns she was struggling with and hadn’t wanted me to know - really she was talking with him.

She canceled plans with me routinely so she could “be alone” or go “take a bath” only to vanish for an hour or three. She would bring her phone with her each time.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, I pushed her hard enough that she opened up to me about her concerns. We started working through them together immediately and, no surprise, we found answers. They weren’t perfect right away, but over the next few months we made them perfect. Still, she continued to message him. She left our Christmas dinner with my family to go to the bathroom with her phone for half an hour the very next day.

That night, I was using her computer to look up articles about couples dealing with some of the concerns she had, and his name and address were in her search history (she told me that she had wanted to send him a Christmas card because his sister had died recently and he was lonely over the holidays).

When I saw that, the behavior I had seen over the past few weeks fell into place. I violated her privacy and read their facebook messages. There weren’t many there (she had already deleted most of her flirting with him, I eventually learned), but it was clear what he intended. I confronted her about the messages and told her exactly what he was doing - that he was playing off of her emotions, preparing to manipulate her vulnerability and take advantage of it. That she couldn’t see how inappropriately he was behaving, how little respect he actually had for me or for our relationship, because she was caught up in the feeling of a new emotional connection with someone who pretended to care about her feelings and make her feel special.

He would continue pushing the boundaries, moving the line further and further. He would listen to her concerns, always encouraging her and telling her she was right to feel that way, comforting her, giving her the validation she was so desperate for, building up an emotional tie between them that he could take advantage of later if she let him. I told her everything he would do if she stayed in contact with him.

She agreed. She said she would maintain better boundaries, but asked to keep him as a friend because he was such a valuable professional connection. I told her in order for me to be even remotely comfortable with that I would need to see the texts between them. She had already deleted them.

At that point, it was clear she needed to cut contact with him. I had never asked that of her before, but this was not someone I was comfortable having in our lives. She refused. Told me I was being controlling. But eventually she gave in and said she would cut contact.

I found new messages between them shortly after that, in early January. I left the house to stay at a hotel a few hours away, telling her then - in detail - how much his continued presence in our lives hurt me. That I shouldn’t even have to ask her to cut ties, because if she cared about me as she claimed to, she would see that I was in pain because of her behavior with him and decide to break contact herself. She argued once again. He was an important professional connection. I needed to trust her and move on. Besides, he’s “old” and “unattractive” anyway, so I had nothing to worry about. After a few hours of back and forth, I told her I was done - if keeping him in her life was more important than preventing me from feeling betrayed, she could have that life. That finally opened her eyes (I thought) and she deleted her number in front of me.

I didn’t notice that she hadn’t blocked it.

From then on, we started working on our relationship and the doubts she’d had. It was tough, and at times during the next four months it genuinely felt like she was fully invested, while at others she seemed to have given up. Sometimes she would shift from one mood to the other in the span of an hour. I fought with everything I had to pull us back together, and most of the time it felt like I had to convince her to fight with me instead of having a true partner. I knew she was scared, worried that she would re-invest herself in the relationship only to have it be that much more painful if it failed, but I begged her to try. Those months, from January to April of this year, were intensely difficult.

But finally, in May, it was like someone just flipped a switch in her. She woke up one morning, came to me, and said that she had no idea what she was doing until then - that it was clear to her that I was the most important thing in her life. And if that’s clear, then what were all these little problems holding her back for? Her mentality was night-and-day compared to the few months prior, and our relationship felt almost overnight as if it had returned to how we were at the beginning.

In the middle of June, we went on a road trip for her birthday. She’s originally from Germany, and was feeling a bit homesick as she always does around holidays. So I took her to a German town a few hours away to remind her of home, a place with a street lined with Christmas lights (her favorite time of year) even in summer. We toured through vineyards a few hours farther then, the closest thing I could find to the vineyards where she grew up. We hiked to the beach, so I could give her a taste of all her favorite places in one trip for her birthday, almost like we were celebrating it again for the first time. During those drives, we had a lot of time to talk about our struggles, and how we made it through.

But then she said something that stuck in my head: “I don’t even recognize who I was back then.”

In May, she had asked me if I had ever been with someone else while we were struggling and she had stopped being intimate with me. I hadn’t, but it had never even occurred to me to ask her the same thing. When I heard her say that she hadn’t been herself, I remembered that question…

We had been drinking to celebrate, the night before her birthday. And I finally built up the courage to ask her.

She hesitated, but then said she hadn’t done anything. I instantly felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders that I hadn’t even known I was carrying. And then…

“There was a kiss.”

Two weeks of daily trickle-truth, one suicide attempt and one extended stay at a mental facility later (edit for clarification: my suicide attempt and my stay, not hers), I ended up with the story I have now. Whether it’s actually the full truth, I’ll never know. All of the messages between them have been deleted - unrecoverable. Her GPS data is wiped, and the OM is (unsurprisingly) not very forthcoming. I have no way to confirm anything.

But here it is:

Around when I went to the hotel in January, she had decided to take a drive to clear her head. During that drive, she claims he texted her (I’m certain that’s a lie, and she reached out to him first). She called him asking to talk about everything, our struggles together. He asked her to meet him at a bar by his house. Alone. At night. She agreed. She claims she only ever intended to talk.

He was everything I warned her he would be. And at the end of that night he walked her to her car, and she kissed him.

She felt guilty afterwards. Stopped contact for a while. Eventually they got back in touch, and she told him she had to clear the air about what they did, tell him it wasn’t ok. He invited her to his house to talk. She went. As much as she still claims she didn’t want it to happen, the truth is you don’t go to a guy’s house like that not knowing what happens next. She sat in his kitchen and said what she had to say. He said he understood, and he kissed her. She resisted. He pulled back, talked more, kissed her again. She resisted. Eventually she decided to leave, and he walked her to the door. And this time she stopped resisting.

The affair lasted (as you’ve probably already realized) until May, when she suddenly “came out of the fog” as they say. She broke things off, but couldn’t bring herself to tell me until June.

She claims that, while she knew each time she went to his house that they would probably end up having sex, she never actually wanted the sexual/romantic aspect of their relationship and never enjoyed it apart from the feeling of being desired. She viewed it as almost the “price” or “tax” she had to pay to maintain that emotional connection - the only thing she felt she could rely on to fill her codependent need to be valued and appreciated. I don’t say that as any form of excuse or justification, but only as context to her thought process at the time, twisted and selfish as it was.

Since d-day, she’s done a lot of things very wrong. Trickle-truth is a horrendous experience. I can’t emphasize enough how terrible it was to think I knew the truth, then discover some new fact - her phone records, a GPS log on her phone, a text, another confession - that showed there was more. She didn’t suddenly become any less codependent, and spent much of those first couple weeks turning to friends and family to get pity for herself, reaching out, flailing almost desperately for anyone who would talk to her. When I asked for no contact, she complained about how hard it is on her. She saw friends and family attack me: “If he loved you, he would…” or “he’s only in the mental facility to make you feel guilty.” And while she didn’t jump onto that bandwagon, she didn’t actively defend me either. She stayed working at the same job where she met her AP, and while she did break things off and cut contact with him at the end of April, she called him one last time after the first round of trickle-truth to tell him I knew about it (to get closure once and for all, she says). But she called him from a friend’s phone - she told me about it the next day, but clearly she did it at that moment so that she could hide it if she wanted to.

She’s also done an incredible amount of things right. She confessed the affair to me when she didn’t have to. She told my family, her family, her friends, her coworkers - she hasn't hidden from the truth at all. She’s burning through books on infidelity, healing, codependency, vulnerability, at record pace. She’s owning responsibility rather than putting any blame on me. She immediately began IC, and is asking for MC whenever she has the opportunity. Her stepfather, a serial cheater himself but still someone closer to her than her real father, told her everything you might expect he would: It was my fault as much as hers, I’m paranoid, I’m trying to use this to control her, etc. She didn’t respond to him initially. But when I pointed out how terrible those things were, she cut contact with him completely - he was family, and she has cut him out entirely to defend me. She’s begun to snap back at the people who imply that I share blame for her cheating, or that I don’t love her because I’m not immediately jumping into reconciliation. She’s also gradually stopped relying on the people around her for validation, eventually distancing herself from many of the people she considered friends who gave her such poor advice in the first place, only holding onto the friendships that actually make her confront the painful truths. She’s deleted all social media. She’s offered me full transparency - a keylogger on her phone, GPS tracking, the works. She starts a new job next week. Many of these things I had to tell her to do, or point her in the right direction, but once she realizes what the right thing to do is, she sticks with it. She’s determined to change, to become a successful rebuilder/healer, even if she can’t always figure out the right path towards it on her own yet.

I feel like she’s doing as well as I could realistically expect someone to do, when the task ahead of her basically involves confronting everything about her past, her upbringing, and her emotional vulnerabilities and changing the core of who she is.

I feel like, if anyone could be deserving of reconciliation, it would be her.

But right now I just can’t forgive. I can’t move past all of the memories she was willing to throw away, and all the years ahead of us full of new memories that still weren’t worth enough to her to stop her from going to his house that night, or all the nights after. And I’m struggling to remember what it feels like to be happy or have something worth living for.

I apologize for the length of this post. If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and for being here.

(edit/update: I've moved in with family and started IC. She and I have gone no-contact at my request.)

[This message edited by SurvivingIndiana at 7:56 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

GoldenR posted 8/19/2020 01:34 AM

She claims that, while she knew each time she went to his house that they would probably end up having sex, she never actually wanted the sexual/romantic aspect of their relationship and never enjoyed it apart from the feeling of being desired.

If this is her claim, she's not reconciliation material. She has probably read somewhere about how if she admits to how much she loved the sex that she would lose you.

If she is lieing, she's still of a wayward mindset.

[This message edited by GoldenR at 1:36 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

Jambomo posted 8/19/2020 01:51 AM

I’m sorry this has happened to you. It doesn’t matter how long you were together, betrayal is one of the hardest things to cope with whether you are together 3 years or 13.

Others will give you better practical advice but all I can say is that I felt much better when I no longer lived with my ExWBF. I’d always advise anyone in this situation to leave and start looking at what life is like for them on their own and building your own life back up again with friends and activities. I was really scared because I don’t have many friends and live in a city where I don’t know anyone but my work colleagues, however I still prefer it to living with him now, after this.

Leaving gives you space to process, free from watching your partner and wondering if they still see/speak to the AP, you are living permanently in fear and she ends up being a constant reminder of what happened. It also gives you opportunity to decide what you really want to do because living on your own helps you see that you can cope and manage the change if you want to.

It doesn’t mean you can’t reconcile and start over, but that is what it should be - starting over. You can’t go back to what was there because that is gone and whilst you are not in anyway responsible for the affair, it sounds as though it wasn’t going great for quite a while, so to start over means addressing all of that as well. You break it down to do a complete rebuild, instead of trying to patch repair the a broken structure.

Take care.

[This message edited by Jambomo at 5:02 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

pandawasta posted 8/19/2020 02:39 AM

3 years and she already cheating?
yeah i won't be suprise if you come back 10 years from now and telling us that you got another DDAY.

Buster123 posted 8/19/2020 03:03 AM

Not that long together, not married, you don't mention any children, and she's already cheated on you, one word: RUN !! and don't forget to get tested for STDs, yeah she was playing russian roulette with your health.

Simple posted 8/19/2020 03:15 AM

A lot of what people said here has merit. Healing and reconciliation/divorce requires a step by step process. Read the Healing Library and focus on yourself, your healing first. If she wants to help, great. But as it stands, you need to go through the process and regain your individuality without her.

The only time you should ever make a decision about R is if you have figured out that you can handle and know how to deal with the next adultery if it happens again. That no matter what, you will survive. If you can't, if you know that another adultery from her will destroy you, then you know in your heart you need to D.

You can't make these decisions until you've got your head on right. Think things through, learn, and no matter what, do not come out a bitter person.

The1stWife posted 8/19/2020 05:09 AM

I hope you have professional counseling for yourself.

This older guy certainly knew what he was doing. As did she.

All conscious choices.

auntiepat posted 8/19/2020 06:04 AM

Sorry you found yourself over here. Your story really triggers me, I feel your pain. Went through something similar as well. Just know you are not alone in this! The decision is yours to have... I hope you have enough strength to see that all of this was NEVER your fault. Never doubt that... unfortunately, the months of lies and covering up do this to us...make us self-doubt, and it is a terrible emotional abuse they perpetrate. Now, you know that you have never been wrong, and learnt to trust your gut and yourself more than anyone else in this world. So, believe in what you feel, you will find the answers you are searching for.

auntiepat posted 8/19/2020 06:04 AM

Edit - sorry, double post

[This message edited by auntiepat at 6:05 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

steadychevy posted 8/19/2020 06:57 AM

You're not married. It doesn't seem you have much for financial entanglements. I saw no mention of children.

When someone shows you who they are believe them.

My girlfriend/fiancé cheated on me before we wed. I didn't know there was sex. I just thought it was inappropriate behaviour. What I should have done then was RUN. I didn't.

I say to you to not have my life or the life of others on this website. RUN, RUN FAST, NOW.

Booyah posted 8/19/2020 07:11 AM

Glad you decided to share your story and that you found SI.

Listen, being betrayed (especially by someone you love) is extremely painful. Yes you aren't married to her, don't have kids, and haven't been with each other for that long but the betrayal (and the pain) is real my friend.

Sometimes getting it all out is therapeutic (especially with strangers who have no dog in the fight and even more importantly that they've experienced what you're going through).

So again glad you found SI.

Let me say, you're going to get a lot of wisdom from the good people here. All of the wisdom is from their personal experience with betrayal, and thus they can empathize what you're going through.

That said, some of the advice will be tough to hear. Some of it will be VERY painful to read, but all I can say is don't leave, sort through the comments and take what works for you and push the other comments aside.

From my perspective your girlfriend really hasn't learned to communicate. Truly communicate. Yes she talks to you about stuff but it appears to be surface oriented and nothing really deep.

She also doesn't really know who she is (which can be expected from someone who's young) and thus she gets the validation she's desperately seeking from others.

The thing that concerns me the most however is the suicide attempt. This is a HUGE concern. This is how she chose to deal with what's going on and should make you seriously think about how she would deal with future trials down the road.

The stakes seem to get bigger when you bring kids into the equation, health issues (with the two of you and loved ones), mortgage and bills, and all the other shit that life throws at you.

How would she deal with all of this?

Dating is (at the end of the day) a trial period to see if the two of you are compatible. To see if you have a foundation that could be a building block to a future together.

This is done by trusting each other because without trust you have nothing.

So really think about this, what has she given you in the short time you've been together?

She went distant on you and when you asked her to please let you know what was going on she lied to you and went even more distant.

She doesn't have good boundaries and as you've seen she is not to be trusted.

She hasn't had your back and come to your defense.

She's lied to you countless times (even after being busted)....TT.

And than throw in that she tried to kill herself and wound up in a mental facility.

It's one thing not wanting to be a detective always wondering what she might be doing moving forward because of the deceit and the lies, BUT, to always be wondering how is she doing, will she try to off herself again?

If you had kids in the future could you truly say to yourself that you would trust those babies with her 24/7?

Ask yourself "what are you really getting out of this relationship"?

Also, are staying with her because if you leave she may try to off herself again and her family and friends would blame you?

Are you staying with her out of fear?

Is this really the type of relationship you want in this journey of life that you only get ONE shot at?

Things at the beginning of a relationship (the courtship time frame) should be happy times. Not betrayal, and suicide attempts, and gas lighting and trickle truthing.

You have a lot to sort out my friend.

You know you can still support her (be there for her.....be a good friend), but not continue to be in a relationship with her.

I can't speak for you (but if I was in your shoes) I would be thinking if I break up with her is she going to try and kill herself again?

Again I feel for the situation you find yourself in.

Do you have family and friends that you can share this with (that you can trust and hopefully get some good advice)?

Hopefully you'll let the good people here at SI help you sort through all of this.

Suicide is a serious SERIOUS issue and not to be taken lightly. I have had two people that I was close to take their lives and it was devastating to everyone.

Again glad you shared your story and what's going on.

Hang in there as one way or another things will be sorted out.

Anna123 posted 8/19/2020 07:23 AM

From then on, we started working on our relationship

Actually, "From then on, I started working on our relationship while she pretended to, lying a thousand more lies while right to my face, while we had what I thought were heart to heart moments."

As you work through this, always remember this. I am of the mind set that working this hard at a relationship may be worth it if there are children involved, just to give the R a chance and learn more about the cheater before calling things off or seeing if they truly had a character transplant. In your case you are RISKING bringing children into what is clearly an unhealthy relationship based on familiarity and habits for the most part at this point. Sure, maybe this all works out and she discovers a new attraction for you, but the odds are very slim.

You can change course at any time, these days are among the toughest a human can go through aside from the truly horrific things in life. Please take care of yourself and do some moderate protecting of any finances you may have combined while you are at it.

Just to confirm, you saying she had a suicide attempt and stay at a mental facility? You have a long road ahead if you stay with her. Freedom can be a wonderful thing and it's right around the corner if you decide. You have NO obligations to her at this point. I vote for ending this but only you can decide that.

[This message edited by Anna123 at 7:26 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

DictumVeritas posted 8/19/2020 07:29 AM

My ex wife cheated on me before we got married. We were in a dance venue together, I went to the bar to get us drinks, came back and saw the tail end of a kiss with a stranger.

Excuses, she was drunk, didn't know what she was doing. I was young and in love, rug-swept, made myself believe it was a once-off indiscretion. Married her.

You know where this is heading. We divorced because I caught her cheating. A full force PA.

I'm not saying she (your girlfriend) will cheat again, but the prognosis is not good and she has already indicated to you that her level of respect for you is low enough to allow her to enter into a PA.

Not married, no children, in a relationship with a cheater. My advice is to not fall for the sunk cost fallacy and part ways. It saves a ton of pain and expenses (half of your net worth) down the line.

I know, I know, but you love her. Make sure you love her and not the best version of her she projected to you as a fantasy, because chances are that the lying, cheating version of her is closer to her true self.

My advice to you is to take any and all steps to protect yourself, your heart, your mental-health, your assets and your sanity and the surest way to do that is to cut the cheater out of your life, put her in the rear-view mirror, grieve the death of the relationship, even if it might just be real in your heart, as I am sure she does not have equal affection for you and move on.

It is tough and heartbreaking, but not as heartbreaking as loosing half of what you have and sharing custody of kids, should she repeat this behavior in future or worse, remaining in a loveless marriage for the kids and the sake of finances, miserable for life.

Granted the above paragraph negates the possibility of reconciliation and assumes she would cheat again, but these are real possibilities and more probable if you choose to remain with a demonstrated adulterous woman.

Strength to you on this terrible path you are forced to walk.

[This message edited by DictumVeritas at 7:38 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

fooled13years posted 8/19/2020 07:33 AM

If you stick around here and read enough you will notice that so many of the BS posts sound so familiar. They all seem to follow basically the same script. The names, places and dates change but the basic plot stays the same.

The BS feels something is off and they talk to their WS about it. The WS states what they feel is missing. The BS changes in hopes that everything will go back to normal. Things never seem to.

The BS pushes for answers. The WS says it was just a kiss then after lots of pushing by the BS the WS starts with the TT until they finally admit there was sex. Lots of times more and different sex then was offered to the BS.

The WS is sorry, wants to make up for it, go to counseling and will do anything to save the marriage.

I am so sorry you are here but you have to know that should you decide to try to R you will need to do a lot of work and while your M may survive it will never be the same.

Should you decide to D you will need to do a lot of work and while your M ends your life will never be the same.

This is what our WSs bring into our lives and there is no getting around it only through it.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 8/19/2020 08:29 AM

I disagree with this 100%:

If this is her claim, she's not reconciliation material. She has probably read somewhere about how if she admits to how much she loved the sex that she would lose you.

That's just hogwash...seriously. I myself was involved with a man years ago - and it was all about the "emotional connection" - the sex was nothing special. In fact, I think especially for women the connection is almost always more important than the actual sex (sorry guys but it is really true).

KingofNothing posted 8/19/2020 08:57 AM

If you're only married three years, and she's actively pursuing and emotional (and I believe, anyway) physical attraction to another man, it might be time to evaluate this relationship for longevity. If you are in this bad a place after only 3 years, there's something fundamentally wrong at the core, and I honestly don't think it's you from what I'm reading.

You guys should still be in the lovey-dovey, happy to sleep on an air mattress together phase. What the hell went wrong?

She's putting in the effort, but clearly, she's making that effort because you are what she will settle for when the monkey branch didn't pan out. Nobody likes being the plan B in a partner's heart. If you have doubts that you are not her number one focus, you might consider alternatives. It's up to you.. I know that staying in such a relationship (after only 3 years) might make your miserable for the rest of time, or it might be great-- you might rededicate yourselves to this marriage and it will be better than ever. You need to give the process time and a little distance.

And go beat the shit out of the co-worker, he's a predator. Just kidding. Kind of.

[This message edited by KingofNothing at 8:58 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

SurvivingIndiana posted 8/19/2020 09:00 AM

I just want to say thank you, first of all, for the replies, and for everyone who took the time to read my post. I fell into writing it almost in a cathartic sense, just getting everything on paper, and by the time I finished and saw how long it was... Well, I didn't expect anyone would actually make it to the end. I'm so appreciative of you all, and being able to see that I'm not alone right now. The feeling of aloneness has been very difficult for me so far.

I'll try to reply to a few things for clarity first.

She has probably read somewhere about how if she admits to how much she loved the sex that she would lose you.

She didn't have to read this anywhere - I told her myself. There is some dividing line in my mind (as irrational as it seems, because it doesn't change what she did physically) between her sleeping with him because she genuinely wanted to have sex with him, and her sleeping with him because feeling valued and appreciated and desired was a pathological need of hers as a result of her codependency and past trauma, and she viewed the sex as effectively just the cost of the emotional connection that gave her those things.

I don't fully believe her (will I ever again?), I know that she enjoyed the feeling of being wanted, she's admitted that he made her climax once... But I've also met with the AP once to ask questions about what happened, and he confirmed that the sex never lasted long, that she was never what you would consider an incredibly enthusiastic participant in it (mostly just laying on her back, he did persuade her to give him oral sex one time), and each time she went to his house she would mainly just want to sit and talk with him - when things did get physical, she would leave immediately after, almost like she was running away.

Am I just desperate seeing what I want to see, to some extent? I'm sure I am. I'm sure everyone wants to believe that their partner never really craved sex with another person, that they just did it for other, more complex reasons. It makes it easier, in a way, because as much as I can read or hear in IC that what she did was never about me, it was about her, it's difficult to internalize that sometimes when you ask yourself "what was it about sex with him that was so much better than sex with me, that it was worth destroying my life like this?" It's easier to believe that it wasn't about the sex at all, and that it was just her own demons raising their heads - then it really is about her, and not me. I want to believe that. In my case, I actually have a few reasons to believe it, but because I want to believe it so badly I have to be even more skeptical of it.

I’d always advise anyone in this situation to leave and start looking at what life is like for them on their own and building your own life back up again with friends and activities.

This was my first step after d-day. Or, an attempt at it, anyway. I moved out to stay with family (fortunately nearby) immediately. I tried to cut contact with her, but failed repeatedly - I needed to know more details, I needed to confront her, I needed answers, I needed her to see how deeply I was broken... And I also needed to see her, even still. I needed to give her books, tell her what she could do to help me heal even as I tried to show her the path to her own healing. Love doesn't just vanish overnight. I eventually realized in my last IC session that, whether I move toward R or not, I don't want to spend my life with someone who can only do the right thing when I'm there to show her what it is. I needed to leave, break contact, and give her the chance to become a person who can make the right decisions and protect her partner without having someone next to her showing her how.

So last week I finally went no-contact after trying to do it for a month. It's beyond difficult to walk away, not be there, because she does genuinely want to heal me even if she's still figuring out how to do it. But if she can use the time to become a better person on her own, someone who is capable of genuine love, then great - it's something she has to do if she wants to have any chance at a fulfilling relationship with anyone in the future, whether or not it's me. And if she can't use this time while we're apart to confront her past demons and the uncomfortable truths about why she did this... Then she's not someone I would ever want to spend another second of my life with anyway, and she'll make the decision very easy for me.

and don't forget to get tested for STDs, yeah she was playing russian roulette with your health.

Knowing this does hurt. That she would throw away our lives together, and then put me at risk on top of it. She admitted - and her AP later verified independently - that they had unprotected sex one time. She didn't know he wasn't wearing protection when he started, but she didn't stop him or resist at all when she realized it either. Sure enough, he left her with a parting gift. Fortunately my test came back negative. I guess I'm fortunate that we took some time to get back into sex after she broke things off with him.

The only time you should ever make a decision about R is if you have figured out that you can handle and know how to deal with the next adultery if it happens again. That no matter what, you will survive.

This is something that I needed to hear. I know that, as I am now, I would not make it through another d-day. I edited my initial post because it wasn't immediately clear, but the suicide attempt was mine - not hers. It came after she had told me (when I gave her "one chance" to tell the full truth) that she had spoken with him "maybe a few times" after the night of their kiss. And then I found her phone call logs for the next four months, saw that she texted him as many as 30 times a day for months... It really wasn't what she did, it was the fact that she still couldn't tell me the truth even to allow me to start healing that ripped me apart. I'm working to develop the right coping mechanisms and resources to strengthen myself, but I'm nowhere near that point yet.

This older guy certainly knew what he was doing. As did she.

I struggle with this often. I know that what I went through is just a drop in the bucket compared to so many people here, people with children and entangled finances and long-term marriages and partners who refuse to do anything to help them heal. But it just... It shatters me that, obviously he knew what he was doing, but I told her too - I told her every step he would take with her, right down to inviting her out for a drink to talk when she was feeling vulnerable. And she believed that she would never cheat. She dismissed it, every warning I gave her. She knew what she was doing when she went to see him, and she did it anyway.

I hope you have enough strength to see that all of this was NEVER your fault.

It's almost funny, in the first week after d-day when I came across this reassurance, I would think to myself, "well of course it's not my fault, why does that even need to be said?"

And then I fell into it. The person I knew (thought I knew) was perfect - she had been betrayed before herself, she would never have cheated on me... She's a nurse, one of the best I know, one of those truly rare ones willing to do an extra three hours of work just so one patient feels safe and cared for on a personal level. She was compassionate and empathetic. So how could that person do this? It must have been me. I'm the problem. Something about being with me turned her into this monster. And if being with me drove even this perfect, saintly person to cheat, how awful must I be? What is so wrong with who I am as a person? I actually texted a friend of hers the minute before I walked into the mental facility after my suicide attempt, asking her to tell my WS that I was sorry - sorry for whatever it was about me that turned her into the person she became.

I know now, rationally, that none of that was true. That I was idolizing a person who never really existed. That nothing about me is wrong or twisted or some vile magic pill that turns the people around me into cheaters. I know that. But even knowing it in my head, I still need to be reminded of it often, reminded to believe it. So thank you.

yeah i won't be suprise if you come back 10 years from now and telling us that you got another DDAY.

I say to you to not have my life or the life of others on this website. RUN, RUN FAST, NOW.

I know that this is the smart decision. I know that there are people out there who won't do this to someone they claim to love, and I could find one of those people and eventually I could remember what it feels like to be happy again.

But I can't make this decision yet. I'm just not ready. And a part of me also wonders - cheaters cheat again, it's what everybody says. But of course that isn't always true... and what if this is one of those times? I'm sure the more experienced of you are probably already laughing, seeing me write that. You've probably seen a hundred other people write the same thing and then come back a year later with d-day #2. You already know how that ends for me 99 times out of a hundred. But I've always said that I would rather work with someone who's made a mistake once and had the decency and humility to own it and learn from it, because they can take that experience forward with them and use it to never make the same mistake again. There's a difference, I know - that person didn't choose to make the mistake. My WS did. She walked right into it knowing exactly what she was doing and exactly how terribly it would break my heart. But is the principle any different, if she really is determined to learn from this and change?

I don't know. I must sound so foolishly, naively optimistic to so many of you who know better.

auntiepat posted 8/19/2020 09:17 AM

No one knows better than you. I've been in a relationship where literally no one of my close friends was encouraging me to do so. But I did it for me. I stayed against everything in the name of MY feelings and MY dreams and MY desires. No, it didn't end well and there was not a happily ever after for me, unfortunately. But I am happy I tried my very best. Worthless in terms of the final outcome, yes... yet, I am happy I did it. I gave all the chances in this world, and I would still do it if I had a motive. So I understand you, and while many will tell you to just move on, if you feel like it's not time yet, then just do what is right for you at this very moment. We need to be gentle with ourselves during these hard discovery times....

DictumVeritas posted 8/19/2020 09:21 AM


this is your life, your choices and it will be your consequences. It might be that you are the most happy couple ever after this, since you do not seem to share the physical revulsion some of us had towards their significant others after they had made themselves a vessel to another man's seed behind our backs.

That revulsion is not inherent in everyone, thus good that you can get passed the physical aspect of her infidelity, I could never.

We can only bring our experiences to the table. Your road, you have to walk alone.

I wouldn't and I believe very few here would ever come forward with an "I told you so". We can only warn of probabilities and wish you the best.

[This message edited by DictumVeritas at 9:35 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

Robert22205https posted 8/19/2020 09:33 AM

1 - The OM is a predator and mirrored her feelings in order to build trust for his own advantage. It's an acceptable technique when used by a therapist and something he was probably very familiar with. Consider reporting him to HR.

2 - I suggest you both read: "Not Just Friends" by Dr Shirley Glass.

Among other things, it may help you understand how she thought she would never have sex with him and that she could manage the relationship (and failed).

3 - You should be in IC for suicide and codependency issues. And to discuss whether to stay with her.

4 - No fiance or spouse can compete with the excitement, attention, and validation from a 3rd party. Nor should you have to.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 9:35 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

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