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My wife has been cheating on me with her childhood boyfriend

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Indievidual posted 1/13/2021 14:59 PM

I got a friendly direct here from Reddit, so I'm going to copy my post there and add to it as it gets going. I'm 38, she's 34.

I feel a need to share my story. I've talked to close friends about it, my family. But hoping to get some advice and insights on here too. So here goes...

We've been together for 16 years, married for about 6. We have two small kids (younger than 6 years old). For the past 2+ years I've been dragging her through a depression. She hasn't had an easy life, and there were periods when her darkest thoughts crossed her mind. But we got through each time.

The day of our marriage was bliss, and we were so much in love. After the birth of our second child though she started changing. Going back to the person she was as a teen. Dark, moody, short-tempered.

I noticed this a bit late, since I was mostly busy with our kids. And had a talk with her. At first she denied anything, stating that she was just tired, and life's burden was a bit much. But as time moved on she declined rapidly.

About a year ago she admitted having plans to commit suicide. She did not go through with them because of our kids, and I took it upon myself to keep helping her through this. Even taking in some of the blame for her suffering.

I went to a psychologist myself, and tried to remain strong. Some time ago we had a discussion as to where our relationship was going. There were good fun periodes, and then times where we wouldn't even talk. At that moment she admitted that she wasn't happy anymore, and didn't want to continue our marriage. So that was the first hit I took, and it was rough. So many thoughts racing through my head.

About the kids, our house, my future, her depressed state... We argued, we talked, we made practical decisions. Up until about a week ago. I kept wondering what had happened that made her want to leave her family. I straight up asked her if there was anyone else...

Now this is the part that hit me the hardest, and I have no clue how to proceed with it next to some advice from friends and family. She was seeing someone else, also a guy who's married and even has a small child, appearently born during the affair with my wife.

Now as hard hitting as all this is I started looking into it. And this guy is someone she hooked up with in her teens. This was also a period where she was in a really dark place, and he even stalked her for some time. It now appears he never gave up, and found her in her weakened state and started to take advantage of her.

I'm not looking for a redeeming factor to save our marriage, that's over. I am looking for ways to process this for myself, and maybe to loosen his grip on her so it doesn't affect our kids. Het has manipulated her, has no intention of starting a relationship but only uses her for sex. He doesn't speak to her for ends on time, but she is on his beck and call. When he ignores her she goes into a downward spiral, when he aknowledges her she's happy... Well, not really but that's how it seems.

For the moment we're still living together, trying to take all the steps to end our marriage and move out. But I need a way to cope with this, with the fact that her depression is fed by him, that he's been to our house, and that he used my wife for over a year.

Finding out about the infidelity has crushed me, we had a happy marriage but the past period has weighed me down so much.

I'm scared shitless of what comes next. Afraid I won't trust anyone, that I won't give anyone an honest chance. I know it's still early days since it all happened, but I need some kind of way to look forward. One day at a time now, and more and more each day.

Up until now I've not been a person with low self esteem. I'm not a bad looking guy, I know my way with words. And I've always been able to connect with women better than with men. But up until now my past relationships have been with 'damaged' girls/women. For some reason I always want to heal them. I want to break that pattern.

But my self esteem has taken a huge blow. Because it appears that I'm not sufficient, that I'm unable to meet someones needs. At least that's how it feels. I've always though that all was fine in that respect, but now I'll be second guessing that at every opportunity.


I'm not ready for a new relationship, let's be clear I need to take time for myself. But I am looking for ways to drag myself out of the hole I dug, and where she dumped all this over me getting me stuck in that hole.

I will be talking to people in real life to, but as I was directed here by some friendly redditers it might add to me processing all that's happened to me.

thatbpguy posted 1/13/2021 15:06 PM

I'm not looking for a redeeming factor to save our marriage, that's over. I am looking for ways to process this for myself, and maybe to loosen his grip on her so it doesn't affect our kids. Het has manipulated her, has no intention of starting a relationship but only uses her for sex.

Out him. To his wife, on any social media using his name and where he works. Make posts on Google, CL..... about him/his place of employment and say it like it is- he's a sexual predator. And stay on him. For years if necessary. Post his picture....

So long as you have a logical train of thought, it isn't slander. Get as much/many items about them as you can from FB, texts, emails.... Hell, if you can afford it, use a billboard with his photo, name, place of employment....

Bully and manipulate him for a change. He'll give up.

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 3:07 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

SlapNutsABingo posted 1/13/2021 15:33 PM

You will be told here a million times that you need to contact the OBS.

You need to listen to this advice!

That is your next step. Find a way to contact her with an overwhelming amount of proof and stay in contact with her for support. For both her and you....

TheLostOne2020 posted 1/13/2021 15:46 PM

Similar thing happened to me, except her AP didn't have a family or wife.

You need to tell his wife. She deserves to know.

After that he will eventually dump your STBXW.

My ex's AP just recently blocked her on all social media and wants nothing to do with her. He wanted the fantasy relationship, not an actual relationship, with her. So once I left her it was an eventuality that he would leave her too.

Same thing is going to happen with your wife's AP.

leftbroken posted 1/13/2021 16:07 PM

As the other commenters have said, tell the other betrayed spouse (OBS), she has a right to know. As far as the rest of the advice about keeping tabs on the Affair Partner (AP) and burning down his life, this is not something I would ever go with.

First of all it wasn't him that betrayed you, he never made any promise to you, your wife did and she is the one that broke it. Yes, he's a slime ball but that's his problem. The only way that you can heal is to release your anger and hatred and move on, you can't do that while you keep tabs on her AP and burn down his life, let his wife worry about that, as thatbpguy point out, the relationship will end real quick once its no longer a fantasy. Then the fog starts to clear and your wife realizes her mistake. That's not for you to worry about though, that will be her mess to clean up.

Go through the healing library, its a great resource for helping you deal with your emotions and strategies for coping, the biggest one being the 180. So many people think the 180 is a manipulation tactic to trick the cheater into coming back but it is a tool to help you detach and stop the emotional trauma from crippling you. Its important to your decision making gong forward that you have a clear head and the 180 will help you achieve that.

Finally keep posting here, there are thousands of years of cumulative experience here in dealing with this. People that know the flags to watch out for, the tactics that cheaters will use to manipulate you. They will share their stories with you and share the strategies that worked and that failed. it sounds like you're already off to a good start, you're showing strength, not doing the pick me dance and looking out for you and your kids. keep that up, excercise to burn off nervous energy eat right, get lots of rest to keep your head clear and keep moving forward.

You got this.

annanew posted 1/13/2021 16:25 PM


Lots of depressed people don't cheat.

Your wife isn't an innocent victim who has just had the horrible luck to be made vulnerable by depression and to fall into the hands of a devilish manipulator.

I am sure she is fine with you advancing this narrative. But she made the choices she made. And you deserve better.

BigNoob posted 1/13/2021 16:29 PM

I am pretty sure I posted as well on reddit but OBS needs to be told. he needs to be put in the firing line and maybe his hold over your wife will be over since OBS is watching him

Indievidual posted 1/13/2021 16:40 PM

Thanks for the responses. I'm looking into videos, literature, information online.

There are 2 issues I keep struggling with (well much more but lets start there)

1. Should I still fight for her, and or marriage
2. If I do tell OBS when would be the right 'time' to do so. Should I wait until the divorce is finished so that we can end it in some semblance of agreement?

BigNoob posted 1/13/2021 17:35 PM

1. Should I still fight for her, and or marriage

This is the pick me dance. Your wife has gone outside the marriage already. Don't do the pick me dance, file for divorce. If during the divorce she gets her head out of the sand then you can put a hold on the divorce.


2. If I do tell OBS when would be the right 'time' to do so. Should I wait until the divorce is finished so that we can end it in some semblance of agreement?


Look out for yourself first, talk with your lawyers. Do you think your wife will have an amicable divorce if you don't tell? When the divorce is done I do highly recommend you tell the Other betrayed Spouse

[This message edited by BigNoob at 5:38 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

gr8ful posted 1/13/2021 18:12 PM

If you want to have any chance at all to save this marriage, the FIRST thing you need to do is tell the Other Betrayed Spouse. She will assist in putting a stop to this crap with your wife.

DanielJK posted 1/13/2021 18:49 PM

Sorry you are here. Like most of us you've been dealt a blow of betrayal trauma (google it). It hurts like hell. You said you are looking to process this..., knowing what is happening to you helps (it helped me). Also, look for the post on "therapists who get it" in the general forum. While the post is about sexual addiction, these people talk about the trauma of the betrayed spouse. It's very helpful. Listen to the helping couples heal podcast. I know you don't want to save the marriage but there is a ton of information in the podcasts about the trauma you are suffering.

https://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=617809

Take care of yourself. Eat, drink, sleep. Seriously, stop for a second and get a glass of water right now. Eat something. Talk to your doctor, especially if you can't sleep. You need to focus on you and all three of these things are priorities in doing just that, focus on you. You need to be healthy for your kids. Once you have these basics down, exercise. If nothing else go out for a walk right now, or schedule a walk for tomorrow. Just get up and move.

Remember it's OK to be just barely functioning right now, but you have to move forward. Do something today and try to do more tomorrow or next week. Start climbing out of that fucking hole she threw you in. Grab a shovel to start digging through the bull shit, but get the fuck out of that fucking hole.

You're worried about the future. I get it, but you need to focus on now and getting out of infidelity. Worry about today for now and try not to worry about the things you can't control. Remind yourself that you are OK. You need to get to a safe place. You might have to go through hell to get there, but you have to get there.

Your mind and body are responding accordingly to the trauma you have suffered, but know that you are basically safe and remind yourself periodically that you are going to be OK. This trauma also hits the self esteem. That's natural, most of us here are with you (like me) or have been there and have recovered. This has nothing to do with you. This was her choice. You are a good man.

You should tell the other spouse. She should know what is happening to her. It's the predominant opinion here, tell. Read "cheating in a nutshell." It is written for the victim of cheating and the authors would say tell the other spouse. It's like witnessing a crime and not calling the police. You are allowing another victim to continue to be victimized. She deserves to know like you now know.

Read as much as you can in the healing library. Read other stories here. Read as much as you can.

Turn your shoulder and lean into the wind. Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing.

DanielJK posted 1/13/2021 18:55 PM

Bignoob is right.

You don't fight for her. While it may feel like the thing to do on your gut, it's completely wrong.

She either fights for you or it's over. Please listen to this carefully from someone who did it all wrong (me). Do the 180 (look it up).

And tell the OBS now. It's one of the things you have control over.

pureheartkit posted 1/13/2021 21:43 PM

Maybe if she decided to go no contact forever she could finally break free of her emotional attachment to him for the good of her own health. Her mood and ability to enjoy life should not be tied to him. He's toxic for her and she needs to let him go so she can heal.

Buster123 posted 1/13/2021 22:34 PM

There are 2 issues I keep struggling with (well much more but lets start there)

1. Should I still fight for her, and or marriage
2. If I do tell OBS when would be the right 'time' to do so. Should I wait until the divorce is finished so that we can end it in some semblance of agreement?

"Fighting" for her while the A is still ongoing is a futile endeavor, in order for a successful R to have a chance first the A needs to be over 100%, the right time to tell OBS is NOW and WITHOUT WARNING for maximum impact (very important), the POSOM will likely drop your WW like a hot rock in order to save his own M.

Nothing kills an A faster than FULL EXPOSURE and filing for D without warning, if full exposure and D papers don't shock her back to reality, then nothing will, either way you would be on your way out of infidelity.

Keep in mind that your WW is not even remorseful and therefore (at least for now) not a good candidate for R, and that it takes 2-5 years (sometimes much longer) to recover from infidelity and that even with a fully remorseful WW doing all the necessary work, there are no guarantees that R will be successful, sometimes infidelity is a dealbreaker to some and that's ok too.

Don't forget to get tested for STDs, yes she's been playing russian roulette with your health by exposing you to potentially serious STDs and Covid19.

Smillie posted 1/13/2021 23:03 PM

Don't protect people who don't deserve it. Everyone knows that when you get married you need to be monogomous so don't defend people who cheat. If you want to give her a second chance then do that but there is a good chance she will do it again. Definately tell his wife....you can't just let people go around wrecking homes without standing up for "the right way". Unfortunately you have ended up with a weakling and you will need to decide if you can live with that.

[This message edited by Smillie at 11:08 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

Dignitas posted 1/13/2021 23:34 PM

Up until now I've not been a person with low self esteem. I'm not a bad looking guy, I know my way with words. And I've always been able to connect with women better than with men. But up until now my past relationships have been with 'damaged' girls/women. For some reason I always want to heal them. I want to break that pattern. But my self esteem has taken a huge blow. Because it appears that I'm not sufficient, that I'm unable to meet someones needs. At least that's how it feels. I've always though that all was fine in that respect, but now I'll be second guessing that at every opportunity.

***READ NO MORE MR. NICE GUY BY ROBERT GLOVER***

Why are you even focused on meeting someone else's needs? This is textbook "niceguy." You need to read that book IMMEDIATELY to start understanding yourself and the patterns of women you choose, or even this won't be a big enough wake up call for you to break the cycle.

That book will change your life. You are an absolute textbook case.

- Focused on meeting other people's needs
- Choosing broken "project / fix her" women
- Connect better with women than men (or better stated, struggle to connect with other men)
- Partner blowing up your marriage to screw a guy who does not care about her, even a little bit

In response to question #1, no you should not fight for this woman, are you out of your mind? Think about what you've given, then think about what she is giving you right now. She, as you have already identified, is acting like a teenage girl with daddy issues. What you should really be asking is how to protect your children from her horrific toxic influence.

[This message edited by Dignitas at 11:38 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

Buffer posted 1/14/2021 01:05 AM

Brother, I suffer from the black dog of depression and also low self esteem. She has to be accountable for her actions.

You cannot save the world one damaged woman at a time.
#1 are the children then you.
Expose her to all now! No waiting for the best time. There never is.
IC for yourself after STD checks. As you stated you are drawn to the damaged ones.
Seek legal advice as if she canít function without him contacting her, then mentally she can not look after the children. Some good advice have already been suggested take on board what you feel is applicable but keep the other in the background.
Tell the other BS ASAP.
One day at a time.

Indievidual posted 1/14/2021 04:03 AM

Quick update as to how I'm feeling today, taking it a day at a time. I've been reading all your posts and living in a combined state of anger, grief and hope. Really weird, crying my eyes out one moment and doing something practical the next.

I'm even surprised that after going through all this... I actually had a good night sleep. I bought some of the literature that was suggested to keep my mind busy. And I went out to buy some running gear.

I need to get out of the house, and out of my paralysis. And an added bonus is that my wife won't get any nurishment for her destructive behavior if I can stick to some of the advice given here.

The thing is my friends and family are here for me, but they respond out of love for me. So they want to burn her to the ground :) But on here you guys don't know me, I don't know you. But I feel that you do care. Coming from experience, kindness, or common sense. Thanks!

As to my question if I should fight for her. It is becoming clear that the answer for that is a resounding no

[This message edited by Indievidual at 4:04 AM, January 14th (Thursday)]

ChamomileTea posted 1/14/2021 04:12 AM

Up until now I've not been a person with low self esteem. I'm not a bad looking guy, I know my way with words. And I've always been able to connect with women better than with men. But up until now my past relationships have been with 'damaged' girls/women. For some reason I always want to heal them. I want to break that pattern.

Try looking into Codependence. There are lots of good books on the subject, but you can't go wrong with Codependent No More by Melody Beattie which was the frontrunner. I'm not a therapist, but I'd hazard to guess it's the most likely cause of your KISA (knight in shining armor) tendencies. Codependent people typically learn to EARN love in childhood, and KISA behavior is clearly a form of "earning" love. Kudos to you for wanting to break through this bad psychological habit and fix your picker.

You're getting good advice on informing the OBS and refraining from the "pick me" dance. I do think though that if you focus on YOU and breaking your KISA habit, things will come into focus for you. The hardest part of dealing with a WS who's going down a bad road is that we can see it so clearly but they just can't (or won't). We can't save other adults from themselves though. We only control ourselves. All you can do is clean up your side of the street, live your best life, and let the hindmost catch up if they can.

You'll be okay. I know it doesn't feel like it today, but we're all living proof that things get better eventually. Hang in there.

chelsea9 posted 1/14/2021 04:35 AM

Sorry you are here. My WW also cheated with a boyfriend from a long way back. Things can happen really fast when those previous - even if long since lost - connections are there.

Right now I would say the question about whether you stay married or not is almost irrelevant, as odd as that seems. You seem pretty resilient about either option, which is great, so buy yourself some time to take stock because you are still in the shock stage.

But the one thing you shouldn't delay is telling the OBS. Firstly, she has a right to know and it's not your secret to keep. If it was the other way round, you would expect her to inform you. Make sure you have whatever evidence/confessions you have, because likely she won't believe you at first. 99.9% of the time this action blows everything up.

That really creates ground zero and from that point you can start to make decisions about how to plan your future, with or without her. There are no right or wrong answers and you may or may not change your mind several times. But above all you need time to process so you an make the best decision for you and you need to inform the OBS.

Best of luck.

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