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Just Found Out :
My 49(M) wife (46F) had a 1+ year affair I just found out about

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Unsure2019 ( member #71350) posted at 5:22 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020


To answer your question, here’s what I see. Your WW was in a year long affair that was both EA/PA. She was cold and distant towards you. She had talked with an attorney. She had researched apartments. When you confronted your WW she told you among other things that she did not love you. And then she left to spend the night with her friend. Then, less than twelve hours later she’s texting you multiple times that she fucked up, she’s a POS, she loves you and she wants to save the M. I know you want to believe it, but does this really sound reasonable? She may not have been dumped by the AP, but I believe she did not just get up the next morning and totally change - hence there’s a lot more to this.

Do you think she just instantly decided she was in love with after all? Harsh words but you really need to think here. A more likely scenario is that she’s decided that she’s scared and doesn’t want to lose her cushy life. So, she’ll put up with you as the price she’s willing to pay to keep everything else. From here, I see a lot of tears and I’m sorrys, but not much remorse.

Final thoughts – I’m glad you’ve checked her phone timeline and read the text messages . That’s a good start. I still believe she was sanitizing her Facebook page. Finally, I would have her read each and every text to you out loud. It’ll be hard to do, but well worth it.

posts: 226   ·   registered: Aug. 21st, 2019   ·   location: California
id 8547505

Waggingthedog ( member #65793) posted at 5:39 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Hey man,

I'm a lawyer by trade, so I am always wary of posting here. Please do not consider anything I say as legal advice. Only an attorney you hire or retain for yourself can give you legal advice.

My prior thoughts stand - i.e. why the quick turn around. As I see it, there are the following possibilities:

1.) Hellfire might be right; your WW could have been dumped and ran back home. She might have built up a sexual relationship to be something more and he dissuaded her of that notion at some point leading up to this. Remembering dating? How many on here got the talk starting with the phrase "where is this going?" Same idea. It could have happened that night or days prior, but the import of this could still be there.

2.) She weighed her options. She could stay with you, her children, her safe life... or she could jettison that all and run off with a man-child. Or strike out on her own free from everyone? What was she going to do? Move into his shared apartment like a college student? That choice seems obvious.

3.) She is committed to leaving, but did not like the lawyer's take on what would happen. States have different laws regarding your situation. Some, if a marriage ends due to a provable affair, might discount alimony. If your children are older then she could not count on child support either for a long time. Remember, your wife is pushing middle age, has just gotten a college degree and we are going through a pandemic and a likely recession. This would quite possibly be the absolute worst time to strike out on her own. Even if she was entitled to half your business that still might be a very sticky point depending on business valuation and income produced.

The second option is what you're focused on and hoping that it is the one. Notice, I did not put in that she suddenly found that she was in love with you. Maybe your wife was in love with you, and was for 19 years. But, for the past year, she has not been in love with you. (Some would debate this, but I don't think it's possible to be in love during an affair as a matter of logic.). A year is a long time. She might have been playing this out over months as the affair dwindled... wavering back and forth... and just needing that moment to snap out of it. I have no way of telling. I just consider it unlikely so I did not include it. I will reference it more below... it's possible but that sudden snap just does not seem likely. That shift either started months earlier and this was the climax, or it has not happened, as I see it.

The thing that sticks with me is the lawyer consultation (just because it's close to home). I see two reasons for the consultation happening:

1.) She could not live with the guilt of what she was doing and she planned on running away from it before you found out. This, in my mind is possible. Perhaps the shame started to get to her and she did not want to face it, so she decided to run and needed to know what it would look like legaly. Perhaps she was about to be outted or thought that she would be and decided to run before the guilt hit. Perhaps she convinced herself that she did not love you and that she had to get away, to alleviate the guilt. Long story short, the guilt may have been eating her and she wanted to get away. She needed to be prepared for that so she consulted an attorney. She would give you a nice settlement and start life over guilt free.

2.) She could have decided that she wanted out, absent the guilt of the whole affair being a factor. This would be the exit affair, where the overriding desire is to leave, not run from the guilt. Her man-child may not have factored in here. He could have been a distraction while she got out.

People end marriages for any number of reasons. But, in the case of affairs, I think that the person having the affair, and examining ending the marriage, is either running from something or running to something... but they're always running. They're not considering the totality of it all. I think your wife may have been running from the guilt.

What stopped the running?

The timeframe of the lawyer's consultation, and subsequent reversal, leads me to believe that it had something to do with not liking what she saw or how things would work. Call me cynical.

She might have been told what dual custody would look like for your younger child. This could be changing school districts after a home is sold, changing friendship groups, less ability to fund college... a whole host of negatives. And, if it's just a few years, maybe she could exist through it to get her kids over the hump. Then, maybe reexamine leaving in a few years when things calm down. And, then her leaving wouldn't be about her affair, but rather the extraneous marital issues independent of the affair. Believe me, some people have marriages that are marriages in name only. If this is the case, then it might have been easy for her to dump her boy toy. She changed from running to an independent life to running to save her kids.

Likewise, there are certain rules about alimony and certain ways that judges rule regarding alimony (if it is owed). A twenty year marriage might be a magic number in your jurisdiction. The judges that would examine your case might be very 'anti-affair' and penalize alimony as a result. Or, alimony in your jurisdiction might be drastically less than what she's read about online. She just got a degree that you gave her, maybe there's the idea of imputed income as a result. I can't give advice here.

Remember, she's fifteen years off retirement (maybe) and just finished her degree... and now a pandemic hit. A few years of child support and the possibility of decreased alimony might have scared her and she came home to fake it and figure things out.

Again, I have no idea.

If you get a lawyer's consult - and I STRONGLY encourage you to do so - you might consider asking what it would look like if your wife got the consult. Have them run the numbers. You know your wife... what would have snapped her out of it?

There's also the possibility that driving to her friends house she passed a restaurant you used to eat at, or a place you used to walk, or a pool where you took your kids and she had that moment of asking herself... "what am I doing?? I'm being an idiot." As I said above, this is unlikely, but possible.

Maybe I'm a cynic, but I can't get the lawyer's consultation out of my head. When I see this, I can't help but be cynical.

My advice is to consult an attorney. You don't have to do anything with the advice, but you should talk with one, even if you have to pay for the consultation. And, if there is nothing "time sensitive" you can just take your time, digest your emotions, and see what comes out of this. It might be great and it might be bad. Only time will tell. There might be something time sensitive here that she is waiting out, or there might not be... that's the reason for the consultation. You just need the information.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2018
id 8547509

ShutterHappy ( member #64318) posted at 5:40 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

If she doesn’t know you have access to her text, don’t tell her.

Me: BH
Divorced, remarried.
I plan on living forever. So far so good

posts: 1534   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2018   ·   location: In my house
id 8547510

squid ( member #57624) posted at 5:42 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Ugh, this is a trip down memory lane I wasn't expecting to make.

The one I used was the SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder back in 2017. This is sort of the "industry standard" in trying to catch a cheater. Around $50 on Amazon. You can find others for a little bit less.

Whichever you choose, make sure it's voice activated. You simply put it in "voice activated" mode and place it in an discreet place in her car, like under her seat. Then just wait.

This is just one of those scenarios of many here where we hope we are wrong. Because being right is truly devastating.

D-Day 2.19.17
Divorced 12.10.18

This isn’t what any of us signed up for. But it is the hand that we have been dealt. Thus, we must play it.

posts: 2588   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2017   ·   location: Central Florida
id 8547511

fooled13years ( member #49028) posted at 5:43 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020


I read a thread by svereen on the wayward side.

She appears to be devastated by what she has done and is seeking advice as to how to move forward and help her BH.

You might consider looking at her thread.

I removed myself from infidelity and am happy again.

posts: 1042   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2015
id 8547512

Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 5:57 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Consider several polygraph sessions one sooner others later.

You may be able to phrase 3-4 yes/no questions for a polygraph that would target her motive for consulting with an attorney and then for deciding to return to her marriage, as well as 'has she had any contact with the OM' - or how she really feels about you.

posts: 2591   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8547520

Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 5:58 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Talk to your doctor about getting help sleeping and dealing with the emotional roller coaster.

posts: 2591   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8547521

 particle (original poster new member #74493) posted at 6:18 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

all these acronyms are giving me a headache, is there a list somewhere?

posts: 44   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2020
id 8547525

squid ( member #57624) posted at 6:20 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

all these acronyms are giving me a headache, is there a list somewhere?

D-Day 2.19.17
Divorced 12.10.18

This isn’t what any of us signed up for. But it is the hand that we have been dealt. Thus, we must play it.

posts: 2588   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2017   ·   location: Central Florida
id 8547526

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:26 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Welcome particle. I'm an old timer here, and just got onto SI today after a weekend away.

I think there are few things here that you are doing well with and a few that you are probably setting yourself up for some pain and hurt.

1. See the attorney. Learn your rights. Understand what the financial and legal implications are if she does not continue to work through this. Understand if your state has legal separation vs D. This is important to know and understand when it comes to consequences, or inaction on her part.

2. Figure out what you absolute deal breakers are. Talking to him again when things settle down? Starting another relationship w/ another man? Not going to IC to deal with her shit?

You need a plan in place to help you drive this path, because when emotions get involved it gets exponentially more difficult. Sit down, figure it out. Journal/write consider what consequences to not following through and healing herself will be for her.

3. Consider some therapy for yourself. This is a real an significant trauma and while you are doing a good job navigating there are going to be days ahead that you will feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused. You need to know how to navigate that and heal yourself. You also need to let go of any shame and embarrassment you have. You had no fault, blame or responsibility in her choices. Which brings me to her.... Yup here we go.

4. What you are seeing right now is fear and shame. For some reason she decided that a D wasn't the smartest or best path for her. She is willing to do whatever you ask right now, but it seems to be more from fear than genuine remorse. Remorse has a completely different feel to it. Shame - good job on shutting her crying down. Do not acknowledge her shame, do not apologize or coddle when she is shaming herself. Just get up and walk out of the room. You can tell her you will not enable her shame, and leave the room, but don't be involved in it, don't comfort her, and certainly don't allow her to use it to stop your ability to discuss this, or limit your path on healing.

Shame is a powerful monster, not unlike jealousy, and when allowed to rule a BS, they NEVER EVER get to their real root issues that need to be dealt with to heal. She single handedly made the choice to pursue and participate in a relationship for a full year. She wasn't ashamed during that was she? Do NOT get caught up in this bullshit. It is manipulative and unhealthy.

5. She needs to provide a timeline. Not for you but for her to see and understand what she has done, this will also help her dig into her why, and will be useful when she goes to therapy.

Last but not least. We are each our own person responsible for ourselves. It is not our spouses, best friend, child's, or anyone elses responsibility to make you a happy complete and fulfilled person. Both of you have a lot of individual healing to do get there, when you are well on your way, then you can rebuild your M. There is no fast track on this. You have to do the work, you both do. Keep reading, and keep posting.

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19678   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8547528

 particle (original poster new member #74493) posted at 6:59 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

fooled13years -

That's not her, nothing matches up. although thanks, was interesting to read.

[This message edited by particle at 1:02 PM, June 1st (Monday)]

posts: 44   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2020
id 8547538

MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 7:33 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

I couldn't really elaborate on what I needed to see, but it's a start, the letter will be interesting. I assume the first one she writes will just be all I am sorry and a bad person, which isn't going to cut it.

You can't give her the roadmap. It has to come from her, either from her heart or from what she reads on her own or talking with friends who are friend of the M not cheerleaders for the A. Otherwise she is just coloring in the lines that you set out for her.

"I don't know" or "I don't know what I was doing/thinking" and crying are not acceptable answers. The superficial answers are easy, but the permission she gave herself to make the 100s or 1000s of decisions over the last year to cheat is a deeper more painful answer.

You need to take a breath for yourself. Stop trying to figure things out.

This is like you and your WW are collapsed on your lawn after running out of your burning house. Right now you are glad you are both alive and crying together but now that you know she set the fire, you need to adjust your idea of what she has become and decide if you want to (or can) rebuild the house with her.

In a few weeks you will have good and bad days. Either way, keep in mind that "this too shall pass". Take your time.

If she is serious about R she will never say "can't we just move on" or "get over it" and stop the woe is me, I am so bad act....

Hang in there, take your time.

[This message edited by MickeyBill2016 at 1:35 PM, June 1st (Monday)]

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1250   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8547545

TimSC ( member #58844) posted at 7:49 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

A VAR in her car was how I caught my wife talking to her AP after she swore on our child's life that she had not been in communication with him.

It was well worth the $40 spent at Best Buy.

posts: 396   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2017   ·   location: SE USA
id 8547550

Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 7:59 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

I'm glad you decided to read the texts, again knowledge is power. I understand your decision about not telling the younger child, I disagree with it but again, he may also have seen the way you've been feeling after Dday but decided to not ask about it, then again, it's your choice, remember it's ok to change your mind and if you feel you need to tell him later, that's ok too. You still seem to be protecting your WW, like others said, you should demand she confronts what she did, the fact she went to her "best" friend the day she was kicked out is worrisome, that means she had to lie to her "best friend" too in order to save her image, reputation, she's still in self protecting mode, she doesn't want to face the music and the shame that comes with it.

I would suggest she apologizes to at least the older child (since he already knows), again it would be nice if she also apologized to the other "through her own lips", again you asked about consequences but you seem to still be protecting her from them, look at your member number, this is advice that has stood the test of time THOUSANDS of times, they also help with remorse, remember no remorse, no successful R, yes remorse is that important, you can take that to the bank.

Like others said, SHE is the one who needs to do the heavy lifting to earn your trust and do the necessary and hard work to restore the M she destroyed, "you can take a horse to the water but you can't make it drink". One of the things she needs to learn about is "boundaries", if you read SI long enough you will see 2 books pop up all the time: "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass and "How to Help your spouse heal from your A" by Linda McDonald, they're both free (PDF format) and take seconds to download, I strongly recommend you download it, have her read both of them and discuss them.

You are taking action now but don't let the fear " losing her" stop you from doing what's necessary, you may end up staying together or you may not, this is just the beginning of what will be a long and painful journey no matter what path you choose. Keep posting frequently, remember the advice may seem harsh at times but it's well intended. Please understand your WW is no special snowflake but instead a run of the mill cheater, with that in mind and under the right circumstances everything including a successful R is possible but also a "successful" D as well.

posts: 2735   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8547552

Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 8:44 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

About the VAR, the one recommended by Squid seems to be the standard and most recommended here and in other websites, make sure you play with it, learn how to use it properly, put black tape on any lights and mute any beeps or sounds before you put it in place, go to the nearest hardware store and get some velcro and attach it in her car under her seat.

There's a reason why VARs are recommended in many cases, they WORK, not only could you pick up conversations between her and OM (if that's still happening) but you may pick up conversations with "best friends", her mother, etc., now or in the near future that will give you valuable insight about what really is going through her mind, VARs DON'T LIE, your WW is a proven liar, used all the tools at your disposal, again these recommendations have stood the test of time and if used properly are very effective most of the time.

posts: 2735   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8547559

Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 9:30 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

Hey Particle

You will find that you go through several stages. First is shock and fear often joined with hysterical bonding. Then you might feel ok - especially if your WS seems remorseful. I think it's kind of like when a tornado hits and then in the aftermath you realize that you survived. But then reality hits and I think you really start to realize that this is your life now. That the person you love is capable of betraying you - and for those of us who were married to people who had LTAs, that they are capable of that much deceit. It's normal to get mad or to detach. I was really mad for awhile.

This is a good time to let go of the outcome. Take care of yourself, and observe your spouse. You can't know if she will really be in it for the long haul. She might not know yet. It takes awhile for the WS to also get used to the new reality of transparency.

Good communication is key. You are right to not let her shame stop you from knowing what you need to know and confronting what she did. I finally had to tell my husband that it wasn't right to expect me to be worried about how he was feeling. Yes he felt like a guilty POS, but if he couldn't talk about it and wanted to hide what he had done rather than face me the I could never trust him. We had to learn how to talk about things that are hard. My H had to learn how to live with who he was.

I took it day by day and he consistently worked to become someone I could trust and respect. We are 3 years out from DD and I think we are good. I like the person I am married to now. I really don't like or respect the person I discovered he was during his As or in the year after his A ended, but before I knew about the A. That person I could divorce. My kids have noticed that he's happier and much more present (they don't know about the As)

Good luck - some folks will give you all kinds of crazy worst case scenarios which can be very off-putting. Unfortunately sometimes they are true (I learned by digging through my HS files that he had had an A 5 years prior to the one he confessed to with a woman who was supposedly a friend.). Most WS are not 100% honest. They are too ashamed and they are scared you'll leave. Don't be shocked if you find out more, but if it was in the past and she is committed to changing that doesn't have to be a deal breaker.

People said 2-5 years for healing. I thought that was crazy, but 3 years in I see what they mean.

posts: 242   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2018
id 8547571

Xzy89c ( new member #72577) posted at 10:14 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

She planned every detail out to leave u. Whether it was

1) the OM telling her to buzz off

2) not liking the legal or mo etary situation post divorce

3) she regretted her actions

We do not know of the three what drove her back. More than likely a combo of the three.

Only you can decide if at last one year of lying and treating you with no respect along with not loving you can be overcome. I agree with previous poster that you cannot love your spouse while having a year long affair.

Have you considered having her move out for a time ? Will give you needed space as the crying is a strategy used by cheaters unfortunately.

[This message edited by Xzy89c at 4:16 PM, June 1st (Monday)]

posts: 29   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2020
id 8547586

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:26 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

When it's a long term affair, they usually talk about what will happen if the spouse discovers the affair, so they can take it further underground.

A VAR is invaluable.

As to her not being able to buy a burner phone,because you are watching the can buy one at a dollar store for $20. She can get groceries, and take cash out at the register, and unless you are looking at the receipt, you will think the total is for the groceries alone. Also, OM could have bought her the phone,and brought it to her at work.

posts: 5020   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8547592

steadychevy ( member #42608) posted at 11:54 PM on Monday, June 1st, 2020

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. McDonald has been suggested to you just above. I highly recommend it. It is a very quick read. Personally I would read it first as a BH because it will illustrate what a remorseful spouse looks and acts like and it has to be consistent over time. If it isn't real the effort will diminish before too long. Your WW can read it after you've read it. She needs to memorize it.

Like many have indicated here I don't think your WW is at the remorse stage. Her crying and bad mouthing herself doesn't do you any good as you yourself have said. Like many others here it appears to be damage control to me. It also helps deflect and escape. You've done superbly when you've told her that those actions are not doing you any good and are detrimental. Still, I see damage control and regret but not remorse.

As has been said, this is a marathon. It is a wild rollercoaster. Be prepared for anger, burning anger. In my case it was rage. When it hits it will pass but remind yourself it will come again. One of the infuriating things I faced was the IDK (I don't know) and ICR (I can't remember).

BH(me)70; XWW 64; M 42 yrs
LTA-09/02-06/06? OM - COW
"dates" w/3 lovers post engagement;ONS w/stranger post commitment, lies, lies, lies
Separated 23/09/2017; D 16/03/2020

posts: 4705   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2014   ·   location: Canada
id 8547619

HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 1:01 AM on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Stop trying to figure things out.

This is good advice. As Babette recommends, “just watch your spouse.”

It’s time to un-know your spouse, and see who she really is. Detach and watch. Forget what you thought you knew. It was wrong.

You know you’re doing it right if you can actually find yourself feeling sorry for her (don’t worry, it’ll pass).

Sending strength, particle. You’re doing great.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2862   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8547625
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