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Newest Member: May28

Just Found Out :
2 Weeks from D Day. Putting one foot in front of the other.

Topic is Sleeping.
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 NotBrokenJustBent (original poster new member #82733) posted at 6:14 PM on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

Hi SI,

I've been lurking for two weeks, but finally ready to make my place here official.

Two weeks ago today my world came crashing down on a family vacation on the other side of the world. WH knocked his phone off his nightstand in his sleep. I picked it up for him at the exact second a message was coming through and you all know the rest.

We've been together since we were 18, college sweet hearts. To say I was blindsided doesn't even begin to cover it. I was thankful everyday for what we had and the life we built. I truly thought we were happy and taking on the world together. We have two little ones ages 4 and almost 2.

WH traveled for work pre-covid. His last two business trips were in Canada (we are in the US). On his second to last one, he grabbed dinner alone after a meeting. The bartender from the restaurant struck up a conversation with him. They chatted for an hour and she asked for his number. She knew he was married. They began texting about everyday things- music, world events, sports. He went back on his final business trip a few months later and they met up and had sex. Since then it's been a 2+ year texting, calling, sexting affair.

During this time we got pregnant and had our little one. I was pregnant when he slept with her. When I saw the messages, I sat there for 3 hours and went through everything- his email, messages, call log, bank accounts, and social media before waking him up and confronting. He immediately broke down sobbing. For the last 13 days, he's done everything "right"- initiating NC, deleting her contact info, thoroughly and repeatedly answering my questions, managing everything pertaining to the house and kids and I just haven't been able to function, ordered and read how to support your spouse book, started IC. Then last night, I was asking him some more questions and I made a mean comment about one of his answers. He silently got up and walked away. I followed him and said that he can't just walk away and if he wants to try to R, there's going to be years and years of questions and processing ahead. He absolutely blew up at me- SCREAMED at me like he was out of control. We have never once raised our voices at each other in 15 years. Some of what he was screaming was understandable- that he has never dealt with this before and just has anger bubbling up inside him and if I want to push for a reaction when he tries to walk away that this is what's going to happen. He said that he hasn't even gotten into the process of therapy and doesn't have the tools to effectively respond to me without f---ing it up. Said that I am not happy with his honest answers so he doesn't know what else to say (I keep asking why, how could you do this, how was I so stupid) and his answers are basically that he never intended to hurt me, that he didn't even realize the levels of hurt I'd experience from this, that he didn't go seeking to f--k his life up, it was just a happenstance meeting that felt innocent and snowballed, that he feels immense relief he was caught.

We haven't spoken since the yelling last night and are starting MC today with a Gottman trained therapist. I just feel terrified that I gave myself so wholly and loving to someone for my entire adult life and I feel like I have no idea who he actually is. I'm still very much on the trauma rollercoaster.

I'm so incredibly sad to be here, but appreciate the resources this group has already shown me.

We're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again

posts: 29   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8773643
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 6:53 PM on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

Welcome to, as has been said 1000000 times...the best group you never wanted to join. I am working right now so my answer will be short, and others will come along.

That being said, I want to address one piece of this immense ____ sandwich you have been handed. The anger on part of your WS. Your WS is likely, maybe even subconsciously, hoping to rug sweep this whole thing. No one wants to have their bad decisions - their worst behaviors - pointed out to them, especially over and over and over again. I'm not saying you are wrong for doing so (you're not) or that he's wholly wrong for being frustrated (it would be hard not to I think)...I think that part of his reaction is natural, but he's going to have to get over it - figure out a away to move forward and work through his own frustrations. He does not understand how big of a deal this is because, if you are like me, you yourself could not have understood how big of a deal this is were you not living it yourself.

I would recommend not chasing him down if he leaves (easier said than done - I was a chaser myself). I think when he returns calmer, whenever that is, you should explain how his leaving, and his yelling, makes you feel. For example, when you walk away from me when I'm asking you questions about the affair, while it may not be your intent, it signals to me that you do not care about my feelings and I feel horrible - that your feelings and comfort (getting away from the questioning) are more important than my feelings and my comfort, and honestly that hurts a LOT because I already feel so unimportant because of the affair....

Or HOWEVER his behavior affects you.

Again I have to run, but I am so sorry you are here. Take advantage of everyone's wisdom, advice, and ask questions, vent, whatever helps you get through the minutes, as I know these first weeks are so stressful and disorienting.

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2347   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8773649
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 7:21 PM on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

Maybe your counselor can help you come up with some strategies to address this situation. Clearly he’s afraid of doing further damage but hopefully he will calm down and understand this is a long process.

BTW - there is no why. There is no answer to "why". The only answer is because the cheater wanted to.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13929   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8773651
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:57 PM on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

Hi NotBrokenJustBent,

I don't have time for a long response, but I just wanted to welcome you to SI. I relate to your story. Our kids are the roughly the same ages. My husband, who I'd been with in a healthy long term relationship with for many, many years pre-D-day also cheated at a transitional period in our lives. I can imaging the roller-coaster both of you are on right now. Are you coping okay? I'm glad your husband is able to hold down the fort at home so to speak.

Said that I am not happy with his honest answers so he doesn't know what else to say (I keep asking why, how could you do this, how was I so stupid) and his answers are basically that he never intended to hurt me, that he didn't even realize the levels of hurt I'd experience from this, that he didn't go seeking to f--k his life up, it was just a happenstance meeting that felt innocent and snowballed, that he feels immense relief he was caught.

This is a really normal pattern to be in at this stage. What you're doing makes a ton of sense and I was just like you, firing off a never-ending barrage of questions and never being satisfied with the responses. I wanted ALL the information all at once and I wanted insight, particularly into the question of WHY, immediately, if not sooner. Unfortunately, my husband (like yours) although he was trying his best to be truthful, simply did not have that kind of insight into his actions at the time, which was deeply unsatisfying, and at times infuriating to me. Again, this is pretty normal. Here's the thing about Waywards, they rarely have any useful insight into things at the outset. If they were better equipped in that department, they probably wouldn't be Waywards in the first place. Many of them, my husband included, also had highly honed compartmentalizing skills (the same ones that allowed him to continue his affair) that were also acting as a barrier to the question of WHY. My brain is not built that way, and so a lot of his answers did not compute as being real.

I'm sure there will be a number of other responses by the time I press send and I'll leave it to others to give advice on taking care of yourself right now. Keep in mind that this is trauma, and please please be kind to yourself. A lot of newcomers who are leaning towards R which it sounds like you are, really struggle to hear criticisms of their WS at the outset. Obviously we don't know your spouse the way you do, but we have seen a LOT of Waywards in the past and they are nothing if not predictable (so much so that we joke about them having a Cheater's handbook). Please know that everyone is coming from a good place. So please take what works for you, and leave the rest.

Best of luck to you and keep posting.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2104   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8773659
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slamsunk ( member #79303) posted at 4:36 AM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Sorry you have a need for this forum. Buckle up, it’s a rough ride. The early weeks and months after dday are so difficult, disorienting and confusing.

The extra help around the house is the easy stuff for a WS to do to show support. it’s having to face the pain that they have inflicted on another… day in and day out for weeks and months to come…deal with your rage that comes out of nowhere… and then answer the endless questions, these are the real challenges… And the really hard part, if you decided to R (no rush to decide)- eventually he needs to face his brokenness and figure out how to become a healthier person, all while supporting you.

I remember the questions though. I just had to keep asking- the same things- and occasionally still do. It was so unbelievable I had to keep hearing his response, over and over to process it all, and I know in part I was also because hoping I would hear something that would make it better. And also to make sure his story wasn’t changing. And, well, of course it did, which is just another round of devastation, until we got through TT.

Many on here will say to keep this site to yourself as a safe place. Which isn’t a bad idea. However, I did share the post Things Every WS needs to know posted in the Wayward Forum with my WH. First of all I found it very comforting to understand that what I was going through was normal. And second, I think it helped him understand the same and further emphasized just how painful betrayal is and how important honesty and transparency are as a first step forward… But that is just a step in the right direction. It’s a hard road ahead.
Take care.

BS- me 44, WH- 46, 2 year EA/sexual text & video chat. Dday spring 2021.
…never is a promise and you can’t afford to lie- Fiona Apple

posts: 88   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2021
id 8773738
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 5:57 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

How are you doing today NotBrokenJustBent?

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2104   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8773786
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 11:31 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

I’m so sorry you’re here, NotBroken. This type of long-term affair (LTA) is damaging in its own special way because of all of the relationship and family milestones that are affected by it, among other things. The fact that he slept with her while you were pregnant, for example, means that he put your and your baby’s health at risk of STDs.

Said that I am not happy with his honest answers so he doesn't know what else to say (I keep asking why, how could you do this, how was I so stupid) and his answers are basically that he never intended to hurt me, that he didn't even realize the levels of hurt I'd experience from this, that he didn't go seeking to f--k his life up, it was just a happenstance meeting that felt innocent and snowballed, that he feels immense relief he was caught.

All of this, as others have pointed out is such typical cheater excuses that we’ve all heard.

First, he has spent so much time lying to initiate, cover, and now rationalize his affair that he likely has no connection to truth right now. He is scrambling and he has had to lie to himself, her, and you so much that it will take time for him to be able to connect with actual truth—and then, only through a lot of hard, painful work.

Second, saying that he "never intended to hurt you," is irrelevant and also not true. He has hidden this from you for two-plus years. If it wasn’t harmful information, why hide it? He slept with her while you were pregnant. What fantasy land would he have to be in not to understand the real risk of exposure and danger to you and your child of doing this? So if he didn’t "intend" to hurt you while taking very, very harmful and potentially dangerous action to harm you, your children, and your family, that doesn’t say anything about his intentions. It just says a lot about his selfishness and ability to lie to himself in order to do whatever he wanted.

Third, this wasn’t just happenstance. The meeting maybe was, but the rest took a lot of planning, pursuit, lying—SO much lying, hiding, internal rationalizing/justifying, and downright selfishness. This went on for more than 2 YEARS. That isn’t just things getting away from him. He had multiple opportunities EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For more than 2 years to make one good, caring decision and say this has to stop. He didn’t do that until he was caught. He was lying in bed next to you in the house with his children texting her.. He shut down any thought about stopping or caring about you and your family or whether or not his actions were okay on a daily basis to do all of that for so long.

Finally, he may actually think he’s relieved at this point. He may even say that you’ve saved him. Mine did. It floored me that after all he’d done (mine had been involved with his AP for almost seven years) tome, our kids, our family, that he would think that it was still my job to save him in ANY situation. I think some waywards may also recognize in their spouses that impulse and play to it.

I’m sure that mine did. He was used to manipulating me to get what he needed and wanted. He knew that I was a fixer who took responsibility for helping everyone. To see me sitting there devastated by the knowledge that our life, relationship and family as I knew them had been over for years and hear him say that I’d saved him by catching him was like a slap in the face. Nope, not my job. Never really was, but I’d certainly taken it on for long enough. Dday ended me taking responsibility, supporting him, or listening to his whiny, victim speeches about how he had been sucked in and needed me to rescue him from his own worst impulses.

You’re not close to knowing everything or getting at the truth yet. He is stonewalling while "doing all the right things." Again, I’ll just say that I too was sucked in by that. My WH immediately stopped communicating with his AP in any way and started doing more around the house/with the kids. If you read around, you’ll see that many waywards do this. So be aware that this is the easiest and most evasive thing that they can do, while trying to look like they are doing the "right" things.

Helping around the house, taking up slack with the kids, and NOT CARRYING ON A LONG-TERM AFFAIR WITH ANOTHER PERSON are like bare minimum human being things that are expected as part of any marriage. What they are NOT is any kind of remorse or amends or work to address the devastation that they’ve wrought by having an LTA while you were carrying and raising their kids, being faithful and loyal to them, and holding up your side of the marriage that you were denied the truth of.

The normal "rules" of discussion don’t really apply in the middle of this extreme trauma, so I’m not going to give you advise about how you could have handled his unacceptable anger better. He CHOSE this situation, so it really is up to him to figure his shit out really quickly. What I will say is that he isn’t wrong that he has no tools to do this right now. If he had any useful tools to handle his own issues (anger, frustration, fear, need for external validation, loneliness, doubt, and a million other adult concerns that require healthy coping mechanisms and boundaries), he wouldn’t have made the horrific choices that he has made for himself, his wife, his children, and everyone else. But he absolutely should be transparent every step of the way with what he remembers, discovers, learns, and works through in therapy, so that you can see if he’s becoming someone that you can feel safe with in the future or not. And he absolutely has to get a handle on his anger, his need to lie and hide information, and his desire to keep you away from the truth of what has happened. That is not protective of you, but of himself.

Most on this board will say that MC is not a good idea until you’ve both had your own counseling for awhile. Your marriage didn’t have an affair, he did. He needs to do a lot of work before he can really participate in marriage counseling. It can be very damaging to the BS to do counseling so early, especially if the counselor is not well-versed in dealing with the fallout from infidelity. Please be mindful of whether or not you are being asked to take partial responsibility or are being asked to commit to fixing the marriage before he’s fixed himself.

This is the worst. It’s so painful, shattering and disorienting for such a long time ahead. Please take care of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you resolve something one day and change your mind the next. I have never had an experience that caused more harm than my WH’s infidelity and, especially, my WH’s lies and continued self-focus after discovery. For many of us, it’s their lies and behavior after they’ve been discovered that destroys the relationship completely.

Hang in there. Take care of yourself and let him see if he can step up long term to take care of all the things you usually take care of. Watch his actions not his words. If he really wants to save the marriage, he’ll do whatever it takes. He won’t lose patience, feel that he’s done enough, feel like you should be over it in a few months, feel like he’s paid his price and should be all good at some point. Drink water, eat, exercise if you can, get away from him for some part of every day and give yourself as much peace and quiet as you can.

Keep posting. YOu’ll get a lot of great support here, whatever you decide to do going forward.

Me BS
Him WS
LTEA with old HS GF from 25+ years ago
DD #1: 10/6/2011
DD #2: 10/21/2011
2DS under18
My marriage didn’t survive but I did

posts: 606   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8773828
Topic is Sleeping.
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