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Healing after confessing

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HellFire posted 10/30/2020 14:01 PM

From what you have said, it is extremely unlikely that you were his only affair. Therefore his wife has to be told. That they have children simply means its imperative that she be told immediately. She is at great risk of contracting an std because of his behavior. An std can be deadly. How would the two of you feel if she dies due to an untreated std,and leaves those kids without a mother..knowing you could have given her the opportunity to know she was in danger?

Think I'm being dramatic? On this site, we have had betrayed wives who have died because they had full blown AIDS,and never knew because their husband kept it a secret and the OBS never told her. We have had children born with disabilities, because when the wife went to her OB, she told her there was no need to be tested,because they thought they were in a monogamous marriage. Etc,etc.

[This message edited by HellFire at 3:11 PM, October 30th (Friday)]

OLDMANSEA posted 10/30/2020 14:03 PM

Hi Aching,

I don't post much. Smarter people than me on here. Your story has grabbed me as I have had my own issues to deal with years ago. Struggling with my own spirituality.

Your quote:

I didnít know how to process it. He continued being flirty at work and then a couple weeks (maybe??) later he made moves on me one day after coming home from somewhere (I had been babysitting for him. Canít remember where his W was but she wasnít home). We had sex. I wish I would have stopped it at that point.

From this, I take that even now, you are ok with the first time you had sex with your married boss since you wish it would have stopped after you had sex. He was married and you knew his wife. You also don't state if you were in a relationship with your husband to be at that time. If you were, did you have expectations that it was monogamous?

You don't owe me a response but it would help clarify for me your situation.

Aching44giveness posted 10/30/2020 14:18 PM

I most definitely worded that wrong. I meant that I should have stopped it BEFORE it turned into sex that first time. I am definitely not okay with ANY physical interactions I had with him.

My H and I were in a monogamous dating relationship at that time.

longsadstory1952 posted 10/30/2020 14:31 PM

Was OM at your wedding or reception? How long after the wedding did you cheat again. These are 2 hyper critical issues for your H

I am assuming you and your H are the same age or close. Since I was that age, let me tell you how it went for me when I found out five years after the A and pregnancy.

At the time I was 34, worked out every other day, 32 inch waist, full head of hair, great career in law enforcement, the original boy wonder. Had the world by the ass.

When I found out, it was like everything collapsed inward. I spent weeks in internal turmoil. We did some hysterical bonding, but after a while I began to hate everything especially her. We might have a good day, then I would lie awake all night, going over events, putting two and two together and wake up seething.

ďWhy didnít you tell me five years ago?Ē ďBecause you would have divorced me.Ē ďMaybe but at least I would have had a choice.Ē Sound familiar?

About four months in I was in deep depression, though I didnít understand that at the time. I felt like hell. Had all these vague illnesses. I realize now that I went into early onset mid life crisis. I felt old, washed up, unattractive, like life was over. What could any woman seein me? I wanted to run away, be a hippie again. After a while we separated. A doc put me on anti depressants which made me not care about anything, but if something got to me I would blow up. I knew I was blowing it but didnít care. I even did this in court.

I spent a summer in a beautiful resort town near a pristine lake going to work, then to my studio apartment alone listening to the radio. Every day. Didnít go out. I contemplating very destructive behavior,from quitting my job and moving away to contemplating getting back into my drug habit, over some seven years before.

I wanted out, and if a reasonably attractive woman had come on to me I would have gone for it. But that never happened.
Oh. And we kept it a secret. To this very day. Not even her family knows. And so, everyone thought I was a heel for leaving, and I had to suck it up. I was a total wreck.

Slowly I pulled out of the depression, and we eventually wound up living together. One of the primary reasons I conceded was that I missed my life pre confession.

Life has never been the same. I started the summer as one person, and ended it another. The unspoken deal has been that my needs come first. That isnít to say that we have not done well in the aggregate, but itís been a different marriage.

Of course we did not have kids then, and I never contemplated having them after. So this is a complication for you.

Iím not saying your H will go through all this, but you better batten down the hatches.

What can you do? Hold him, touch him, love him and thank him every night that he is still with you. Make him feel honored in a every way you can. Do not fight him over stupid stuff. Do small nice things every day. Show him the benefit of staying with you over leaving you. Do not use the kids as a weapon.

I donít know the time of your last encounter with the om, but I suspect he was still somewhat in your lives afterword. If you think your H has not wondered if he is the father of your kids, you are cray cray. Do a dna test to reassure him. Donít ask him, just do it.

Finally, be 100 % sure you have not left something out that will come out later. That is the worst. There was a BH here a while ago who was actually contemplating divorce after he caught her lying about what she had for lunch.

And get your ass into counseling now. Now more dragging your feet.

An NC message to om is imperative. You say you donít see them, but what is to stop om from being at a party where you are and approaching you for chit chat?

Iím on the fence about informing the wife, but since your BH is saying no, I guess that is his call. But eventually he will want it. Count on it.

Get ready for petty acts of revenge and be patient.

And keep showing up and working on this like your future depends on it. It does.

ETA. Stop the ďI was just a kidď narrative. It went on for three years and you were 22 and a married woman at the end. By then the dynamic with om had to have changed. You were equal partners in adultery both cheating on spouses, and you have already conceded that you were only in it for the sex.

[This message edited by longsadstory1952 at 2:47 PM, October 30th (Friday)]

RosesandThorns posted 10/30/2020 17:41 PM

Aching, I can appreciate your desire to do the right thing when you didn't have to. Just make sure you go all out, 110% honesty, do right by everyone. I believe God will honor that. (Cannot promise a happy ending for you, but healing, yes.) I don't know what to say about your husband not wanting anyone else to know. As others have stated, your AP's wife at least has the right to know for health purposes.

Trickle truth and lack of counseling on your part are big negatives. (My husband enrolled himself into an addiction program and sought counseling the day after DD, without my prompting. It went a long way towards trust.) Please don't underestimate the damage of tt. It comes back to haunt later. There isn't a gold star for trickle truth from the perspective of the betrayed spouse. And I hate to say this, but your being his only sexual partner on top of your affair is likely going to be hell for him.

You need to find a counselor with a specialization in or at least good experience with infidelity, and you need to do it like yesterday. Be aggressive, ask questions about how they approach infidelity, lose any embarrassment you might have, and be bold in interviewing till you find a good fit. Your husband needs you to do this, even if he doesn't know it. Amd even if he at some point gives up on R.

It appears from your posts that you mean well but have a lot of work to do on yourself, and it will be painful. You will likely experience shame spiral at times. Guess whom you cannot go to for support?? Your BH will not have it to give. Meanwhile, you will not only be trying to fix yourself but also support him as he deals. He will not be able to be support for you for a loooooooooong time. Think years, not weeks or months. He's walking wounded, whether he knows it or not. You will need a counselor and preferably healthy female friends to support you when you feel tired, sad, ashamed, angry, etc. etc. etc. You will be propping you both up, as well your household at times.

It bodes well for you that you're still responding, despite being challenged. Don't give up.

Aching44giveness posted 10/30/2020 19:14 PM

Long sad story,,
Thanks for all of your input. The OM was not at our wedding or reception. I donít know for certain the exact amount of months after we were married that it happened again but I would say 4 or 5 months after.

You say that eventually he will want to contact the OM wife. Has that been your experience?

What exactly do you mean by petty acts of revenge?

Thumos posted 10/30/2020 19:17 PM

I am not here to trash your marriage or criticize you and I commend your bravery in coming here.

Gently, one thing I can recommend is that you examine the ways major and minor that carrying this secret around has impacted your marriage. It is not just the initial act itself.

I think as you carefully examine it you will see that this has created an intimacy hole where wholeness should have been. You will have little epiphanies about this if you are honest.

You will need to confront that. You said the marriage has been good. I donít disbelieve you. But you need to look this squarely in the face and think about how this has been standing between you without your husband even knowing.

Secondly I realize this has been said but for your husband this all happened about ten seconds ago as far as his brain is concerned. For you, it was a decade ago. For him it is right now. Heís reeling in ways you canít possibly understand.

Please read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair to understand what you MUST do. And read Cheating in a Nutshell to understand the storm of emotions you are about to witness over the next several years.

Thumos posted 10/30/2020 19:18 PM

If you can enroll yourself immediately with a betrayal trauma specialist for individual counseling. This particular specialty is very important and key.

Thumos posted 10/30/2020 19:21 PM

And I hate to say this, but your being his only sexual partner on top of your affair is likely going to be hell for him.

I can confirm this. Donít allow your church community or anyone else to encourage rugsweeping or disregard his masculine pain or to push for what I call ďhappy clappyĒ sudden forgiveness that makes everyone feel better except for him. Forgiveness is a process, not an epiphany. Especially donít let anyone push the book of Hosea on him.

Thumos posted 10/30/2020 19:32 PM

My H has been doing ďHarboring HopeĒ through affair recovery but other than that neither one of us have had any counseling. He is unsure about whether or not he wants that.

Iím a devout Christian and Iím pretty skeptical of this ďaffair recoveryĒ stuff that tries to wrap up everything in a nice package with the right neutral color palate and Bible quotes in pretty fonts with sunsets and the like.

Be careful with this stuff. Itís often very surface oriented. I think the evangelical community has done a lot of rugsweeping harm especially in the past decade or so regarding female infidelity and betrayed husbands.

Be wary and cautious. This is not a linear process, as you are about to find out. Getting very real, very raw and radically honest is the only way through this.

survrus posted 10/30/2020 21:07 PM


About the STDs you need to get tested some like Syphilis can remain dormant for years. From your description of OM he sounds like a serial cheater so you've been exposed not just to OM but all the other people he cheated with.

HPV is another major issue and both you and your BH need to monitor yourselves for things like oral\throat cancer, penile cancer and cervical cancer etc.

longsadstory1952 posted 10/30/2020 21:16 PM

Petty acts of revenge. Promising to do something and not following through just to see you twitch. Embarrassing you in public. Doing things that you hate. Throwing away your things without telling you. That kind of stuff.

Example. A couple of friends ran into a couple in a store. The wife as far as everyone knew had been busted in an affair. Yet here they were making small talk. New Yearís Eve came up. Wife looks at husband. ďSo what are we doing New Yearís Eve?Ē Answer. ďWe? We arenít doing anything?Ē

Itís like a valve on a pressure cooker. Itís a way of showing contempt in small ways. To remind you that you deserve contempt. Passive aggressive behavior.

As far as telling the wife. I donít know that it will happen. But one rage fueled night it could. Itís a way of taking back control and itís a way of getting even. Thereís a guy on the boards who called OMs wife to drop the story 40 years after the A.

Having said that, it is the right thing to do. You really need to work together on this. Letís be honest. Wouldnít you want to know if the girl that looked after your kids was fucking your husband?

survrus posted 10/30/2020 21:26 PM


You have had years to come to recover from your affair, although you likely never completely recovered, this is as new for him as if it was yesterday.

Have you searched for keepsakes the OM gave you or letters etc.

How close does the OM live to you or the business you both worked in, Your BH can be triggered by reminders of the OM. Every time I drive past OM3 neighborhood for example I think about what I could do to his kids and grandkids.

Some betrayed spouses have to move away to escape the triggers.

I hope your children are not in school together or are friends, that's one that tortures many betrayed spouses.

survrus posted 10/30/2020 21:34 PM


I encourage you to read the BH threads and try to take in what they say, it will give you a better understanding of how your BH feels and thinks.

It's a good guess that your BH feels like he was your second choice, a plan B, and that something vital was lacking in himself. I know you don't think so but the question is does your BH.

There also seems something horribly unfair about a successful OM stealing your exclusivity from your BH. It reminds me of the verse.....

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. ó Matthew 25:29

[This message edited by survrus at 9:35 PM, October 30th (Friday)]

M1965 posted 10/30/2020 22:35 PM

My H and I have always had a WONDERFUL marriage. We are seriously best friends and have been so happy to have each other.

Well, number one, you have not had a wonderful marriage at all, because you were cheating before it and after it. So please get real and own your part in devaluing something that could have been a monogamous pre-marriage relationship and honest - if not 'wonderful' - marriage.

Beyond that, the reason you cheated is because you did not see the man you married as sexy or an alpha male. You saw him as your 'friend'.

At any point in your relationship with your boss, who could have you whenever he snapped his fingers, did you see him as your 'friend'? I feel pretty sure in saying that you never did. And that made him sexy, and irresistible, and powerful. And you created that dynamic, by the way you framed your boyfriend, and the way you framed your boss.

Your boss was a cool and sexy guy whose favour people competed for. Your boyfriend and fiance was...your 'friend'.

Is it any wonder that your boss conquered you so effortlessly, repeatedly, because you framed him as a virile man who you were lucky to be with, while you framed your husband-to-be as your 'friend'? A 'nice' guy? 'Safe'. Dull.

I can tell you this as a 55 year-old man with several very good female friends: there are two words that signify that a woman has metaphorically castrated a man as a sexual being, and they are (1) "sweet", and (2) "friend".

If a woman says a man is 'sweet', it means she will never, ever, take him seriously as a sexual entity.

If a woman friend-zones a man, it means she likes him, but she has decided he is not going to be taken seriously as a lover.

You have described the man you dated and subsequently married as a 'friend', and you cheated on him with an alpha male who was not your 'friend' for one second.

Can you see why you have to stop thinking of your husband as a nice guy and a 'friend' and start thinking of him as every bit as much a sexual being as your boss?

Friendship is for friends; marriage is for lovers.

If you really take your former boyfriend, and now husband, seriously as a man, stop thinking of him as a 'friend'. He is your man, he is your lover, he is not a super-safe pussycat.

And the truth is this; the guy you betrayed is far more into you than your boss ever was. For your boss, you were just an easy lay. Your 'friend' saw you as more than that. Your 'friend' wanted to marry you.

Your 'friend' thought you were someone special. Your boss thought you were someone 'easy'.

So which of them was right?

If you marry a man you have mentally castrated, you will always be looking for an alpha male to come along and conquer you, so you really need to start re-thinking the way you view your husband.

Why was your boss better than him? Why could your boss have you whenever he wanted, both before and after your 'wonderful' marriage?

The answer is not anything to do with him and who he really is, but how you framed him in your mind as opposed to how you framed your boyfriend and later husband.

The bottom line is, you think your boss is a 'man', and your husband is a 'friend'.

I can tell you this: your husband is every bit as much of a man as your boss, but he does not treat women like crap. He could if he wanted to, but he doesn't.

Your husband could go off and find another woman very easily. One who does not have your history. A man who valued his reputation might make it a point to do that, but your betrayed husband is not doing that.

You might like to think about why that is.

And why you need to revise what you value in a man.

And more than that, stop thinking of the man who married you as your 'friend'. That is just insulting. The man who married you is so much more than that. And so much more than the married man you had sex with while your husband thought you were faithful.

Edited to add;

If you went somewhere, and someone looked at you and said "Who is this?", how would you feel if your husband said, "She's just a friend"?

[This message edited by M1965 at 10:37 PM, October 30th (Friday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 10/30/2020 23:19 PM

Wow, M1965, I usually agree with you, but not at all in this case. My H is my best friend, and that's not any indicator that I don't take him seriously. He IS sweet, he IS nice, and he IS sexy. This pervasive attitude that all women want a dominant alpha male is a load of crap. Bye the bye, my OM did not fit your AP stereotype, either.

As a 51 year old woman, I do not appreciate a 55 year old man telling me and OP that you know how women think and what our priorities are because watching your "several female friends" has made you a higher authority.

Thumos posted 10/31/2020 00:44 AM

100 percent agree with M1965 and so will most men. Better pay attention, OP. You can listen to the other ladies or you can listen to the betrayed men who know what itís like to actually be a betrayed man. Take your pick.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/31/2020 01:23 AM

I can tell you this as a 55 year-old man with several very good female friends: there are two words that signify that a woman has metaphorically castrated a man as a sexual being, and they are (1) "sweet", and (2) "friend".

If a woman says a man is 'sweet', it means she will never, ever, take him seriously as a sexual entity.

This claims to be a universal statement about what women think. I am living proof that it is not true.
You can listen to the other ladies or you can listen to the betrayed men who know what itís like to actually be a betrayed man. Take your pick.
I didn't claim to know what a betrayed man is thinking better than he does. I said that I, a woman, know what I'm thinking better than he does. M1965 claims that if I call my husband my best friend, I must be secretly emasculating him in my own head. He cites some women who have never met me as his authority for reading my mind. That's very different from explaining how he believes my husband would interpret the phrase.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 1:30 AM, October 31st (Saturday)]

hikingout posted 10/31/2020 07:25 AM

I understand and agree what BSR is saying, and that is not usually how women think at all.

However, I tend to think what these men are telling you is a common thing I see BHís say. So the take away from this is be prepared to help him see thatís not how you view him. Words will not do that, because right now your word means little. Itís going to take consistent loving actions over a long period of time. I read from the BHís here a lot at your stage and while not all men think a like there are come very common themes and schools of thought that should not be dismissed or ignored.

cheatstroke posted 10/31/2020 07:44 AM

if I call my husband my best friend, I must be secretly emasculating him in my own head

I can't speak for anyone other than me, woman or man, but if I ran into a woman that I knew and she introduced a man she was with as "This is my sweet, best friend Merlin", the absolute last thing that I would think is that Merlin is her lover.

If she later admitted that he was in fact her husband, the absolute first thing that I would be thinking would be, "Wow, that was sure a strange way of introducing her husband. I WONDER if they ever have sex."

It would NOT be "They MUST never have sex.", it would be "I WONDER if they ever have sex."

So, I wouldn't think that she MUST be secretly emasculating him in her own head, but I would certainly WONDER if she was.

And I think a lot of people, men AND women, would be wondering the same thing.

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