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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39


whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:52 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022

Gracey, I’m sorry this thread is a slow one and even sorrier I don’t have any answers for you. I don’t know how to look back at the last 15 years of my life yet without getting vertigo. I’m still trying to make sense of everything. My 20-something kids don’t know because I haven’t told them and I am an excellent actor who pretended all her issues were menopause and arthritis related fallout and they don’t suspect any marital problems. They know their dad is a difficult personality and think I am a saint for handling him so well. If they only knew. I can’t add worrying about me or us to their lives and have many reasons for not telling them, mostly a gut response. Maybe someday I will give them the truth, but I don’t think it will be a gift for any of us.

I think you can check in with your son, ask if he’s doing ok or has any questions without opening the door to the existential angst of the reality shift infidelity brings to our lives. Try not to think of it as your whole life being a lie, just a piece of it. I’ve mentioned this before but the only part of my life that was a lie was the fidelity and honesty of my spouse - I have lived an authentic, honest and honorable life and modeled it for my kids and that helps me get over the hump of the pain of the lies in our past. It also helped me to make a digital photo album of those years without my H in it, as I had identified as his person, soulmate and spouse for almost 4 decades. It would never cross my mind to think of my life as mine, and not ours, but that digital album called Me lets me see hundreds of happy, meaningful authentic moments and memories, and a life filled with love shared with my friends, family, kids and pets and it is where I go when I am feeling confused or sad. I won’t lie, it felt good to edit him out of some of those pictures, even the ones that were trips he and I did alone. He edited me out of chunks of his life to carry on for a decade with another married woman, as well as trying to hook up with many others, so I feel pretty good about my photo album therapy. I told him about it, he said good, but didn’t ask to see it. He doesn’t really want to talk about anything in the past. He wants me to feel safe because he says I am safe, he wants me to feel loved because he says I am loved, but he ruined his credibility over and over with lie after lie to protect himself. I don’t know how to reconcile that with staying with him when he hasn’t put in the work to heal or understand himself or to earn my trust back. He is an acts of service guy, and he can do the dishes for the rest of our lives but my heart will still ache and my defenses will still stay up. For now, I stay because it is the choice I have made after too much analysis, and because currently the benefits outweigh the costs. I make sure the scale tips to my benefit every chance I can.

Like I said, I don’t have any answers. I’m still trying to find my way through this 5 years downstream, with a new ugly discovery or two trickling out every year because I can’t let go of looking or reaching out to MOW and getting truth bombs, and my H has issues with honesty and facing the consequences of his actions. He feels that anything he tells me at this point only gets him in trouble, and can’t understand the trouble isn’t from the truth, it’s from the lies to keep the truth from me. All he can offer is that he chooses me and he loves me and I think most of us here can agree that those are just words, and are not enough to repair the damage.

There is a very small group of LTA survivors who choose to stay in the marriage, and there aren’t a lot of success stories for obvious reasons. I don’t think we can ever feel truly safe again staying with our betrayers or in new relationships now that we know what people are capable of. The only thing you can be sure of is dealing with it from a position of strength and not weakness the next time. I can’t control what he does, only what I do, and the new, older and wiser me won’t tolerate getting played again, and I won’t play nice if I am. I know it is not the way I wanted my life to go, or the version of myself I want to be, but right or wrong it is how I am able to handle my life right now in the reality I find myself living. I try not to judge myself to harshly for any choice I’ve made since discovery.

Good luck to you finding your way through. It’s very hard to know the difference between a gut feeling that something is off and the after effects of being betrayed. I wish there were an easy way to tell the difference. They say to trust but verify, but I haven’t gotten to the trust part of the program in this new version of our relationship, and I may never get there. I just verify and reality check my way through my days and try to make th e best of what is left. Take care.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 570   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8762984

Gracey ( member #79334) posted at 8:22 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022

Hiwhatisloveanyway, Your reply to my post resonated with me and I have also chosen to stay for now at least as despite all of this I still love WH. Your pain comes through in your words and certainly for me, the biggest lie or hurt is thinking you know someone, only to find out you didn’t know them at all. My WH lies to me and himself, I think it is how he lives with himself. Every so often I see a chink in the lies and he emotionally returns to me as the man I know and love, full of remorse and love and then he is gone again back behind his wall of lies. Unfortunately my WH told my son about the AP. My Son told me to leave my WH and i tried to explain its not that easy to just walk away after 30 odd years. Sometimes I wish I had never met WH, yet he has given me an amazing son. For now I keep choosing to stay and trying to heal and accept that he may never be the person I thought he was. Hope you and I heal our wounds, we deserve to be happy.

Together 34 years Married. 17 years

posts: 96   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8763018

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:46 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022

Hi all, Just wondering how you cope with looking back over the years and thinking its all been a lie. I am also wondering if my Son feels the same about his childhood. He is 20 and I don’t really want to mention this to him incase he doesn’t feel like this and I end up making him feel like it. Just wanna make sure he is ok, any thoughts? WH still here and claims all is ok with us and AP no longer a threat. I am struggling to trust this true. However cannot tell if that is anxiety or gut feelings. Only had pockets of remorse and wonder if it is actually guilt not remorse I am seeing. Any tips spotting the difference ?

It's funny (erm timely?), I was just thinking the other day about the idea that my whole life was some kind of lie. I've felt that way since finding out. I think part of why I stayed after DDay1 was to avoid thinking it was all a big fat bag of lies. If we made it, then it was all real, right?

Maybe it was the wine or the cool fall evening sitting outside but I shifted my thinking. Like, hold up. I was there. I experienced the warmth, the joy, the comfort, all of it. I lived and felt every single second of it. I did not waste MY life. I lived it the way I wanted to and experienced all of the good things marriage and family provides. That is/was 1000 percent real.

Did things change? Yes, yes they did. And for some period before discovery I was faking my way through my marriage. I knew he had "left" me. I knew things were off, wrong, fucked up. That is the ONLY period where my married life was not authentic. He was cheating and I was hiding. But before then? Nope. I won't buy the cheaters revisions. I knew authentic when I had it and I knew it when I lost it. I regret nothing (well except the hiding part but I forgive myself for that because who can actually believe this shit?)

Regarding cheaters revisions: my WS has done a full 180 there. It took me kicking him out to snap him out of his bullshit. While I was not perfect and he had legit issues, he repeatedly tells me that he blamed me for every single thing gone wrong in his life and he admits it was utter bullshit. He says now that he did not appreciate what I did for him or what we had. He had grown to expect it. He felt entitled to it all and therefore didn't value it let alone protect it.

And also, he lied and lied and lied to himself so he could go chase feel goods rather than deal with his increasing depression and health issues. I mean what's easier? Being honest about your shortcomings and struggles and seeking help or getting a dopamine hit with a parking lot blowjob? My point here is he has recanted all revisions after losing just about everything and being forced to face himself, alone. So if even a cheater admits it was all very real and very good, why shouldn't we?

The regret/remorse thing is very difficult. Some of it is as written above. It's cliche but you'll kind of know it when you feel it. I can say this: remorse does not show up hot and cold. Sure, even a WS might have an off day where they don't know how to respond to you or are feeling hopeless and sort of shut down. But true remorse powers through when you need him. Defensiveness is a sign of having something to defend (duh) so it's perfectly legit to worry that it's him hiding more lies or him refusing to take down his walls made of bullshit and really look at himself. Until he really looks at himself and becomes appalled at how he has treated you, you won't get remorse.

Take care of you. Hold your ground on what you need.

[This message edited by TheEnd at 9:57 PM, Monday, October 31st]

posts: 622   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8763028

Laura28 ( member #28997) posted at 1:56 AM on Monday, November 7th, 2022

Hi everyone

I'm an old timer (very old!). Joined in 2010. You can read my story in my profile. Long story short, we married in 1982, he had at least 3 LTAs spanning 25yrs. Probably much longer and probably far more. (He ALWAYS had a gf on the side!). I found out in 2010.

I chose to stay for reasons which have very little to do with him. We live together, get on OK and even have sex occassionally. I don't love him.

I have been vigilant - but not obsessively so. He has not strayed since. Found out today that his last gf (he broke up with her in 2010), tried to call him in late August this year. She texted him and called 3 times in one evening. He didn't pick up. She lives OS and was here visiting - less than an hours drive away. He didn't tell me. Gutless, cheating, lying a..hole!!! You just can't trust them. It would have been so easy to tell me. If he had, I would probably have just laughed!!! And thought what a skank!

So, just a heads up. It never gets better. You can never trust them again. It's been 12 f'ing years since dday. The OPs can always come back and your WS probably will be too gutless to tell you or will rekindle the relationship if they can get away with it.

I'm not sorry I stayed but I don't trust him.

If you have not been together too long, have no ties (kids, mortgage etc), get out now. Don't hesitate!

I really feel for you all.


[This message edited by Laura28 at 7:57 AM, Monday, November 7th]

Married 42yrs Me BW 68Yrs Him F?WH 70yrs OWzero 1988 EA?/PA? Gaslighted. Dday May 28 2010. OW1 1994(6mths PA, EA 16+ years). OW2 2002(8yrs PA). OW3 2009(1Yr PA). Others?? Status: Not Divorcing..but.."You can't unfuck 'em"

posts: 2785   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2010   ·   location: Australia
id 8764020

Gracey ( member #79334) posted at 8:50 PM on Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Like a lot of you I choose to stay. My feelings for him have changed and while I still love him I no longer admire him like I used to. I have seen the true ugly of him now and it cannot be unseen. I realise I am grieving for the old him and sometimes I wonder if the old him was what I chose to see and not who he actually is. Can you really live with somebody for over 30 years and not know them. Reading your posts makes me realise everything I am feeling is refreshingly normal under the circumstances and I no longer beat myself up for not coping with this and choosing to stay when my closest friend keeps urging me to divorce.

Together 34 years Married. 17 years

posts: 96   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8764228

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 2:35 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

You may find that coming to acceptance and healing yourself changes your desire to remain married. It's impossible to "unsee" what we now know.

Ultimately, reconcilliation is about choosing our partner again. Now, if they have done considerable work, showed true remorse and 1000% commitment to the marriage, you might choose THAT guy. But if not, you may make a different choice one you are healed.

What's critical is that YOU HEAL.

Focus on you, your feelings, your health, your sanity like it's your job.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8764296

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 1:24 AM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I have to admire those of you who stayed. I couldn’t. And I know I would have gotten to the point of hating him.

Not good for anyone especially the kids.

I am lonely but at least no one is lying to me every day. Other than politicians. Lol.

Standing tall

posts: 2224   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8766109

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 10:45 PM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Ultimately, reconcilliation is about choosing our partner again. Now, if they have done considerable work, showed true remorse and 1000% commitment to the marriage, you might choose THAT guy. But if not, you may make a different choice one you are healed.

It really does come down to this and when I finally healed and opened my eyes and still saw the same man he had been since my rose-colored glasses have been blown off my face... I was 100% done. All the years he spent living a double life proved to be too much for me to bear and his entitlement and NPD just sank the M.

fBS/fWS(me):51 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(21) DS(18)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8766345

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 3:34 PM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

The Land of Chaos is in a good place. our youngest is just out of her teen years (but still at home) we find ourselves being quasi empty nesters. And I find myself, now that my mombligations are pretty much done, thinking "what the hell has my life become". And as a LTA survivor how much of my life was really inundated with infidelity.

No point to this - but the holiday's are always rough. Probably because what I'd thought of as special family time was really just nothing other than a series of complex lies.

I think that I'm just now experiencing the mental exhaustion of having to hold it together for so many years. And I'm just tired. And want to hibernate.

Mindfuck is - had this not have happened, I'd have thought and still think we are a good couple. I guess that why we still together.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8766696

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 10:55 PM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

You gals impress me.

I find being alone hard in many ways. Even with I don’t think I could ever go back to my xh.

Today I have so many regrets

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 10:55 PM, Friday, November 25th]

Standing tall

posts: 2224   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8766735

DIFM ( member #1703) posted at 8:27 PM on Monday, December 5th, 2022

AI think there are many of us, including me, that stay even though the WS did not do all the work that was necessary. After d-day, my WW never had another A. But, even without any more cheating, she was one of the "I love you, am sorry and will never cheat again" type waywards.....this mindset driving her to think "can't you just move on" type of cheater remorse remorse. I feel that I can be confident that she would not cheat again. But "not cheating again" is usually a given, not a thing you can take some solace in.

Even when cheaters offer evidence in which the BS is satisfied that they will not cheat again, there is still a wide gap between not cheating again vs healing the trauma caused by the cheating that was done. So many cheaters seem not get the pain and trauma. I think many cheaters allow their guilt to remind them of the pain caused and in doing so, keep a distance from actions that would heal the pain, but for them is a reminder of the pain they caused.

R is a tough road and some cheaters have the strength of character and determination to embrace humility and contrition in order to drive their actions through R, and other cheaters are just far too consumed with their guilt and shame to be supportive and proactive forces in fixing the shit they caused.

posts: 1757   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8768271

Squish ( member #79546) posted at 8:35 PM on Monday, December 5th, 2022

DIFM - this is the kind of WH I have.. the same as your WW.

Its not enough, and they just don't get it. I wonder if they ever get it.

I hope your WW does one day soon.

I think your completely right though with the two kinds.

This whole things is heartbreaking. Nothing feels complete anymore. Its such an odd place to be forced to be in.

posts: 123   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8768273

likeapinball ( member #50073) posted at 6:08 PM on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

Wow, maybe it's the holiday spirit?? I'm not sure what I feel anymore. My WH did a lot of work at the beginning but I feel like now he's totally moved on and expects that I have too. I have not. It's been just over 7 years since my world completely blew up and some days I'm just as angry as I was then. I don't cry over it anymore but I could seriously throat punch this idiot some days. I don't even think it's the affair anymore. I'm not sure I even like this man some days. What a fuckery this is.

BS,DD: Sep 26, 2015. Married 16 years at DD. WH had a LTA with MOW. Three kiddos 15, 13 and 11 at the time. In R

posts: 226   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8768380

Squish ( member #79546) posted at 9:07 PM on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

I was just reading on one of the posts another person saying that the hardest thing to accept was that their ws made the choices that they did. They chose to have the A. Every day for 3 years… I’m really feeling this.

posts: 123   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8768401

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 1:01 AM on Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Yes! That's it! Every day for 3 years. Then every day for 15 months after than when they went underground. Every call was a choice. Every text. Every thought. Not to mention every hook up. Every single action was a choice. A choice to cheat. And every single call, txt, thought, hook up, etc. was an opportunity to STOP.

When you break it down with the math - on average [and I've seen the phone logs], that's 250 txts/calls per day. Over a span of ~4.25 years. That's 387,812.5 choices to communicate. That's not even including those hook ups and weekend getaways. That's just communications only. 387,812.5 choices to communicate. And 387,812.5 times they didn't choose to stop.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8768450

Squish ( member #79546) posted at 5:57 PM on Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Chaos- I’m so sorry you had to go through this…….. really makes you think does it when you sit and think about it.

And they tell us they loved us and didn’t want to hurt us….. well they didn’t love us f*inh enough did they? To make the choice to stop……

[This message edited by Squish at 5:58 PM, Wednesday, December 7th]

posts: 123   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8768514

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 7:57 PM on Thursday, December 8th, 2022

When we were in MC, the counselor looked me straight in the eye once and said "TheEnd you have to accept that he did not care about you during the affair. He did not care about you at all."

I mean it seems so obvious right? But the shock of the betrayal insulates us from some of the truth. We want to believe.

The MC was pushing me to accept the truth.

Her point seemed to be that until I accept the ugly truth, I can't move forward (limbo) or I will make bad choices for my future.

She certainly was trying to help us save our marriage but she knew it wasn't possible unless we got real honest about what had happened. Repeatedly asking "why" or "how could you" was getting us nowhere. He did it because he wanted to and he was able to do it because he did not care about our marriage at that point.

In a weird (fucking painful way!) it was freeing. I mean it put the ball squarely back in his court. Ok, you didn't care about us anymore. Message received. My only option then is to leave your ass. No? You care now? Why? and prove it.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8768692

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 8:41 PM on Friday, December 9th, 2022

I am wondering what is considered a "Long Term Affair"

posts: 393   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8768977

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:28 PM on Saturday, December 10th, 2022

Stillconfused22, I wondered the same when I first came here. If you look online, the answer is that the average affair lasts 6 months. About 50% of affairs will last between a month and a year, but a long-term affairs historically last about 15 months, with about 30% lasting two or more years. I couldn't find any info on what you call a nine year affair that would have gone on much longer if I hadn't found out and ended it. I call my WH's a very long term affair, or VLTA. I'm sure the AP was looking forward to that 10 year anniversary celebration. Ugh.

I have given myself nine years to repair from the damage and have promised that awful MOW a good riddance card in May 2027, to match her absence from my marriage as long as she trespassed in it. I'll see if I care enough by then, and if we can beat the odds and stay together after such a long and brutal betrayal. Good luck to you in your healing process.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 570   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8769050

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 12:51 AM on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

I read the same description as whatisloveanyway in my research. In my case on DDay 1 the LTA was 3 years [3 yrs/1 mo to be exact]. Then...they went underground and on DDay2 (when I realized they were in contact) it total 4 years & 2 months with DDay3 (when I realized it had just gone underground - then I informed OBS) about 6-7 weeks after that. A grand total of...4 years 4 months. WAIT - there's more - I found out in 2020 that LTAP had been cyberstalking WH using fake profiles to try to connect and I informed OBS. Through discussions w/OBS we learned since the LTA ended that LTAP had been doing things to duplicate our lives. We involved an attorney (who nicknamed her Fatal Attraction) and had a Cease and Desist order against her.

I'm sure she's still doing that to date, just being very discreet about it. It most unsettling. And a huge mind fuck.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8769420
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