Fellow MH here and new member of SI, although I have been lurking for a year or so. I just wanted to introduce myself and give a little of my background story, in case I jump in with comments or seek advice and you think "who is this guy?'. I really appreciate all the insight I have gained from all of you since I discovered this community. Mine is a long story but I will summarize and stick to the facts (even so it is long). I apologize if I am interrupting a current conversation, but I'm not sure where else on SI is the right place to write this.
Mrs. Oldfart and I got together in 1995, both coming fresh out of previous marriages, both with kids. Kids remained with previous spouses. With a few ups and downs, things were good for many years and one child together, until 2007 or so when W had (what was to me, but she denies it) an emotional affair while I was offshore working. She was spending a lot of time with a divorced guy who was a neighbor, in our house 'just hanging out". When I finally cut my trip short, she was child minding his 4 kids and had converted to his religion. Later she admitted that he had asked her to divorce me and marry him. On reflection we kinda rug-swept that one but it resulted in us being less connected, to the point where we were leading almost separate lives under the same roof. In late 2013 I was contacted via FB by an old previous (female) acquaintance from prior to W. She lived in another country and it developed into an EA on-line. Four months later I flew overseas on the pretext of a work trip to meet with her and the affair turned physical.
When I returned, W was suspicious and I immediately confessed all. I told her I wanted a divorce. In my fog, I wanted to carry on my affair (over skype) and remain married to BW (with in-house separation) so that she could obtain a visa to return to our country of origin (she was not a citizen there), which is what she wanted to do as all her family are there.
Fast forward almost year. I'm still (discretely, but she knew) carrying on my affair with OW online and BW is getting nowhere with Visa application. BW asks me to promise that if I remain with OW after she is gone and bring her over, I won't have her in our house or in our bed. Not an unreasonable request I thought. I wouldn't want to keep the house anyway with the memories that were associated with it. Eventually BW looses patience and starts (sneakily) destroying anything that's mine in the house. Every time I notice something missing or broken, she says she knows nothing about it. In November 2014 I decide it's time to move out and get an apartment while I still have some possessions left. So I did.
A month after I moved out, I made the stupid decision to invite OW over to stay with me for a few months (still in the fog). BW and I were still in contact but things had become vitriolic on her part. I made a point of remaining civil but to the point.
Late February 2015, BW files for divorce. In the petition is a lot of untruths about me destroying community property and disposing of community asserts (all untrue) but I let it slide. I found out later that she thought her lawyer was filing on the grounds of adultery, but in fact he filed on irreconcilable differences ( no-fault State in USA ).
In March 2015, OW goes home. By that time reality had set in for me and I was coming out of my fog and realizing that the grass was really not greener on the other side. In fact it was a rather shitty shade of brown. BW and I were due to start mediation for a settlement agreement soon and I was racking my brains trying to find a way to broach the subject of R with her still vindictive as all hell and me feeling very stupid for what I'd done. We were having a lot of arguments over the settlement. Despite me agreeing to take all the community debt and give her 50% of the assets (the house is all we had - she already had all the furniture, etc.), she was pushing to keep the house too and get $900 per month spousal support on top of the $1500 child maintainance I had been paying since June 2014. Don't get me wrong, this was not why I wanted to R, I knew she would not get that if it came to a fight in court, but I had no stomach for the fight and I mention it only to illustrate the dynamic that existed at the time.
In the week we were discussing the possibility of R, BW asked that I take our son for a night because she had been invited to a party. I found it a bit strange as she had always refused to let him stay over with me (not that I would have while OW was there). She had even blocked me on his cell phone. When I dropped him back home the next day (BW was out at work) I found evidence that the party was in her (our?) house and was for two people. I mentioned it to her with a request that she be honest about her activity as late the previous night, our son had requested I drive him home to pick up some toys he forgot to bring. I didn't want him to walk in to a "situation".
At this point, BW said that there was someone she was "considering dating" and that they were just friends, hanging out together and seeing how it went. She initially turned down R, then the next day changed her mind and asked me to come home, which I did and we immediately fell into HB. Two days after we got back together I see her messaging him right in front of me. When I protest she sends "the best I can offer you is friends". Huge red flag for me.
Three weeks later and things are going great. She asks me to have a look at her computer as she thinks it has a virus. that's when I found the messages between her and her "friend" which leave nothing to the imagination. She had sex with him in our house, on our sofa and in our bed. The bed we had been sleeping in for the past 4 weeks.
When confronted she admitted to two sex sessions with him, the most recent only 5 days before we got back together. This was a guy who was 20 years younger than me and of a different race. On d-day, BW told me she would have "taken it to her grave" if I hadn't found out. It took three months of me asking her before she sent him a clear NC message. Not that I believe they were in contact since the "best I can offer you is friends" message, but still... In my subsequent investigations on him, turns our he was married in his home country and was an illegal alien. Not only that. But in a recent TT, she admitted that his family were involved in running drugs into the US. That revelation came after I told her I had contacted her AP's wife (who was newly pregnant) and revealed what he had done with my wife. Great, now I have to look over my shoulder at all times 😲
So yeah, we both have behaved disgracefully. 2 years later and we are still together taking it one day at a time. BW is a rug-sweeper and a master at compartmentalization (is that a word?) due to childhood sexual and mental abuse. I'm the type who likes to talk it all out, but have issues keeping my anger (verbally) in check. I'm so messed up I don't even know if Ihave the right to be angry, but it still hurts like hell. BW seems to be of the opinion that (although she says she is sorry for her actions), we are even, what's done is done and need to forget it and put it in the past. I have asked that she take a polygraph ( because my gut tells me there were other A's in our history together) and we both go to IC followed, when ready by MC. She has, reluctantly it seems, said she will do whatever Ineed to move forward.
Big issues for me are:
1. I can understand her wanting to start a relationship after what I had done, I really can. But he was 20 years younger than me (I am 55) and a complete player who had no intention of ever committing to anything other than casual NSA sex.. I saw the messages between them which indicated a really passionate sexual chemistry between them (at least from her POV - he didn't reciprocate much in the messages I saw). She told her BFF the sex was "amazing" She told him she didn't want me, she wanted to have "fun". How am I ever going to follow that???
2. BW was hoping to keep it a secret for the rest of our time together. She exposed me to his STD's and brought me into the bed they had (recently) had sex in, without any aparent conscience. How can I ever trust again?
3. I'm not convinced that BW really regrets her A. She has minimized and made no great effort to own it. She recently said her motivation, on reflection, was revenge for what I did.
4. Toxic freind, who encouraged the PA, has been dumped (reluctantly) at my request, but BW has proved to be such a poor judge of character (especially where men with alterior motives are concerned), What can she do to make me feel safe with her as a partner going forward?
Of course, BW has her own issues with me, but she seldom voices them to me and seems to think that they are best not discussed. I wish she would talk about it, or even just join SI and ask for the opinion of other folks who have been through it. That to me would mean she was trying to do her part in fixing our mess.
I am sure I will be asking y'alls advice going forward, since I badly want our M to work and so, I am sure, does she. No point to my ramble, other than to introduce myself and I guess, show that I have the qualifications to be here
Thanks for reading.
[This message edited by Oldfart at 11:59 PM, April 4th (Tuesday)]