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Newest Member: cobblerock

Just Found Out :
After 15 years of marriage back in the same swamp

Topic is Sleeping.

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 8:12 AM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Only found out and again in the same swamp. 15 years of marriage. During these 15 years there was a period when I found out that he had several "ladies" of the heart at once. probably most of you will understand what was happening to me at this time and how many questions I had - what should I do next. His explanation - we fight a lot. And I can’t imagine how you can not respond to discovered love and sexual SMS. He asked for another chance and that it would not happen again. And it seems that we have entered a new phase - the closest people to each other. What was my surprise when I found out that for a year now he has been talking again and dating one of his former girlfriends. His explanation - I screwed up, this is a mistake. I don't know why I went for it, she called me, she has problems in her family including her husband infidelity. For him, it's just communication. He asked for one more chance - the last one. 15 years of marriage, you think everything is great and I'm in the same place again ... I'm at a loss and just don't know how to live with this further. Will it ever end? Can he stop. What he is missing with me (he said that nothing), why does he need it. After all, he said before that he thanks God for the fact that he has me. Can or will I ever trust him again. And yet you want to believe. And the soul is torn from pain and groans. Again betrayal. Again, a promise that this will not happen again ...
I apologize in advance for the confusion ... thoughts as well as current circumstances in confusion and chaos ..
Just have nobody to talk to and nobody to share with… to be able to write it here is already a try to get up after a fall …

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Aug. 16th, 2023   ·   location: Switzerland
id 8804552

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:06 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

His behaviors have not changed. This is who he is. He cheats, then says he will change, tells you how important you are to him, you reconcile, he cheats again. It is a looping life and nothing changes but the seasons as you get older day by day.
I am so sorry he continues to show how little he respects his vows. You are worth so much more than this.
Try to find a therapist who deals with bs of chronic cheaters. They can help you with grief.
Look after your health by getting proper nourishment, enough sleep, and something to help with anxiety.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4274   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8804564

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 2:41 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Cooley2here thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it!

He tells me that he never wants to see what happened to me when I discovered it. That he understood a lot and would not allow it happen again. That we have something to fight for and we must go through this, and I really want to believe in it. But I don't want/can go back to this hell again and again. I even don’t know how to go through now…To cross out all the bad and leave means to cross out all the good too. How to know where the right choice is and whether it is worth giving a chance. Is it worth the risk. Has anyone had a case of "we got through this" and became even closer and happier than before. Are there those among us who were able to trust and restore relationships with a happy outcome???

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Aug. 16th, 2023   ·   location: Switzerland
id 8804574

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:16 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

A mistake is forgetting to grab milk at the grocery store. An A (affair) is making a ton of conscious decisions to betray, lie and cheat.

Sorry that you had to find us. There are some pinned posts at the top of the forum that you might find helpful. Also, the Healing Library has lots of great information, including the list of acronyms we use.

He is a serial cheater, and they are usually not good candidates for R because they don't do the work to change. I won't say it can't happen, but it doesn't happen very often. How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald is a fairly short book and is a primer for your WH (wayward husband) to follow. Another book is Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass. For me, the chapter on windows & walls was very good at helping to explain boundaries. You have a window with your spouse (transparency) and walls with people outside the M (marriage) because there are things you don't share or do with them.

Sorry you're here.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8804577

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 3:27 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

He says all the pretty words, but is not doing anything to change whatever is broken in him to make him a safe partner for you. Stop listening to his words and start watching his actions.

I would make sure that you make some consequences that are real and firm w/ him so that he knows he can't tap dance his way out of this this time. Prepare yourself for separation, and divorce. You deserve better than what he is giving you, but you are the only one that can demand better.

The trauma of this is difficult to wade through, and is painful, you need to stop worrying about him, and start making you and your well being the top priority, and sit back and watch what he does. I suspect w/ his repeated infractions he will crumble and not do the real work that is needed.

See your Dr get a referral for a trauma informed therapist. Let your Dr know if you are in fight/flight mode, not sleeping, unable to eat. There are things that can help you through the early days of trauma.

See an attorney, learn your rights, understand his obligations. Educate yourself. Take the fear of the unknown away, it will empower you.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20206   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8804581

Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 3:39 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

So sorry you are back in the same swamp and that you have a husband who feels entitled to shop around after marriage. I'd bet money he learned that from his family of origin, like my WS did. If they see such behavior around them growing up, but the parents stay together for whatever reasons, it sends a child a powerful message that this is just not that big of a deal. Not that you need to tolerate it, but just to help you understand the good in the Marriage was real, but this is not a one-off "Crisis" he stumbled into, rather it is the fruit of a mindset of entitled behavior - to do what other men he knows and has known have done and not suffered consequences. So IMHO, it's more about that mindset he had going into the Marriage, than it is about you, dear wolfhowl! Of course he wants to keep you, too!

I second what Tushnurse and the others have advised that you do to take care of yourself. This pattern isn't easy to fix.

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8804584

HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 5:58 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Good advice in this thread!

To repeat some of it: Serial cheaters don't change overnight and they definitely don't change because they get caught. Beware those sudden "epiphanies"; they are largely performative. Notice how they occur after they are caught, and not before. How real can that be?

If he has any real intention of changing it would take a long time of introspection, most likely with a well-trained therapist, who can help him dig up the rot and clear it. Intentions are not enough--it takes much more than that.

You will need to recover regardless, so do seek the help of a trauma therapist, and if you want to take another risk with him at the very least have in a row so you are not dependent physically, mentally, or financially on the outcome of his attempt to change. You deserve better.



posts: 557   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8804604

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 7:13 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023


thanks for your kind words, attention, time, advices and just being here for me! Thanks for all of you! I did not even expect that so many not indifferent, compassion people around. Finding all of you and this opportunity to share with someone is a gift. In a difficult moment, every kind word, every word of support is a balm for the soul. I'm glad I'm here. I'm not happy with the reason that brought me here. But I am grateful to see that there are so many people who are not indifferent. Gives hope!
I talk to him all the time. And it seems that I see sincere repentance and requests to give him the opportunity to fix everything. I see his desire to get things right. But I don't know how long it will take. And I am terribly afraid to find myself in a devil’s circle again. In all other respects, he is a very positive and caring husband. He was always there for me and supported me in everything. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to realize and believe that there was another side of the coin. Do ideal marriages exist? Or we always need to make some compromises and go through difficulties. He also says that I'm not the easiest person to live with. But he also says that I don’t deserve what I’m going through and he will do everything possible so that this never happens again ... In a situation where he is a good husband and a penchant for "friends on the side", his only but very significant drawback, is there any hope for a change? God, if only I knew where I would fall ... and how is better ...

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 9:06 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

I’m sorry you are facing this.

What you are seeing is not the truth. If he meant any of it, he’d be doing something instead of talking about doing something.

My H had zero shot at R during his last affair. In my mind there was nothing left. I didn’t love him and I didn’t hate him. I just no longer cared. In my mind our marriage was over. I planned to D him.

Yet he started making changes and doing something. I gave it 30 days (until after the Christmas holidays) to file for D. But I saw something different in him.

He never made promises but he did take action. He didn’t expect we would R. But he did everything he could to make amends for lying and cheating.

I get discouraged when I see cheaters crying and pleading to R but not actually doing anything except talking with empty words. That is a 🚩🚩🚩 for me.

He should be showing you effort. He should be getting counseling and trying to be transparent and become trustworthy again.

Instead he’s crying and making grand gestures. All nonsense IMO

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

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id 8804619

ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 3:17 AM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Hi Wolf - like everyone else here I am sorry we had to "meet" under these circumstances.

My WH is not a serial cheater in the sense of the word here, but he was a serial liar and he definitely cheated - lying about everything and anything, sometimes in order to hide his own feelings, sometimes to avoid conflict, sometimes because lying was so natural to him that he did it without thinking for no clear reason.

My experience and advice mirror each other here - my advice, and my experience with him, is that my WH did not start to change until he wanted to - FOR HIM. Not for me. Not for the AP. Not for his family, his friends, his coworkers - for him. Nothing I said or did, or I believe could have said or could have done, was going to make him want to change. He had to hit his own version of rock bottom. For my WH rock bottom was my leaving, him being outed at his work (his A was a workplace affair - he worked with the AP and the OBS and had been very good friends with the OBS before he decided to sleep with his wife), his being outed to his best friend (whose wife had an affair and left him so he was not sympathetic), him realizing that he had screwed up his home life, his friendships, us...and that he was going to be left alone with it all...and he was...and he didn't like it - didn't like himself. And wanted to change.

3+ years of IC later he is still working through his why's. I don't know all of what he has discovered as I didn't move back in, but we are rebuilding our friendship and we date occasionally now. He is still moody. He is still defensive. He is still insensitive. But, he's much more aware and is really trying to work on those reactions. He is definitely more honest, and calls himself out pretty quickly. He is able to apologize AND realize when he should.

He's different. He did it on his own. It took a lot of time. But most importantly...

When he actually started doing the work in earnest, I could tell. I remember thinking in the years before that, during the A, during the false R, during the aftermath, that it seemed like WH was trying but I wasn't sure. When he started doing it for himself, it was unquestionable to me. It was obvious.

So what I'm saying to you is - you have already tried the path your WH is asking you to go down now - you have been there, done that, and here you are now, right back in the same place. I did too with mine...3 times. You have to try something different at this point - for YOU. Maybe your WH will figure himself out, and maybe he won't. To be honest, my money when I decided to leave was on my WH NOT doing anything but watching me pack, saying stupid pointless "sorrys" and a bunch of other stuff, and that he would fade away into the background of my life. If you had asked me when I moved if he would have made the changes he did, I would have bet everything I would ever earn for the rest of my life that he would not. You can't know what your WH will or will not do going forward, but you can make a pretty educated guess about what he will do if nothing changes. I think there is a large part of you that knows that too. There was a large part of me that knew it for a long time but I tried to push that aside. By doing that I lost the one thing you can't get back - time.

I think you have to decide if you can live like this going forward. You indicated that you had good times you would lose too - and so did I. My WH and I shared some good times that I can recall even during his A and the myriad of lies he told me, but now, outside and away from that shit-storm of a relationship, I can see those times for what they were - fools gold.

So if you can live like this going forward - if "it" is worth these periods of unknowing, anger, fear, etc - than make your peace with that and accept this is who your WH is. There are some people on here who do just that - rugsweep, and stop playing detective. It sounds miserable to me, but to each their own.

If you want a change, I think YOU are going to have to be the one to do that at this juncture. Your WH sounds like mine in that he was not going to do much of anything, not for any extended period, to make a change for himself. His answer "I don't know why I went for it" speaks volumes. He needs to figure out why he would "go for it" - for starters. There is a LOT to that question - it's loaded. The finding out, for real, is not something that is going to happen overnight.

So ask yourself these two questions: "If I were to leave today and my WH decided not to fight for me - not to get to his why's and try to make changes for himself, would I ultimately be okay?" Or, "If things stay the way they have been for the last 15 years if I were to stay, is it worth it to me to stick around anyway?" Those are kind of the best case and worst case scenarios that YOU are in control of: leave and be okay (if you think you would be - I am not one to tell you one way or the other) or stay knowing this cycle is likely to continue forever. All the middle ground, the place where I am for example, required me to make a decision (mine was leave and be okay) and for him to do something as well (decide he wanted to change for HIM and actually do the work to figure himself out and try to be a better person).

I'm not telling you that you have to physically leave (although for me, after 2 1/2 years of staying it was clear that I needed to physically leave, for me) - but you can separate, or draw away from him for awhile and let yourself feel for a bit without his interruption. It's complicated, but it can be done.

It also stinks - the decision to go, the decision to stay. But it does get easier for sure! If you want out of infidelity you have to get yourself out of it. Your WH may follow, but the choice really is yours.

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: 2359   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8804655

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 1:02 PM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Thank you dear friends in misfortune… hopefully on the way up and never in this situation again The1stWife, ThisIsSoLonely and others "lucky" whose circumstances as well as me brought here.

Wow … don’t know where to start again without glass of wine 🍷 It’s just so much inside that difficult to make a summery. duh

Of course I and WH a lot talking about A (at my initiative). But WH seems to be trying, although it is not pleasant to tell the truth but I see WH trying. WH wrote a letter to his mistress (at my urgent request) and showed me the letter. The letter contained this kind of information: "It is not right to poke around in our family relationships. Being in contact with her has really hurt his family. That is wrong. And his loyalty is to his family and that is where he will put all his efforts." He also gave me her email. (at my request) And I am really "itching" to write to her ... mad What do you think about this? None of you did not want to express to the mistress of your WH everything that has accumulated? I want it very much… I certainly understand that my husband is responsible for the betrayal. But she - actually a MW also took the first step and called my husband because of the misfortune in her family - her husband is cheating on her. WTF. As I understand it, for the mistress there was some kind of revenge and compensation, and for WH probably, an ego booster. WH seems to answer all my questions honestly, openly and constantly asks for forgiveness for the trauma he caused. And he begs to give him a chance and he will prove all his life that I did not regret it. That is what is going on... is here any sine of changes? Of hope?

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Aug. 16th, 2023   ·   location: Switzerland
id 8804670

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:37 PM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Looking at how he lives his life shows me that he is a bucket with a hole and YOU can’t keep it filled with your love and loyalty. Neither can all these women. He needs a work up and a diagnosis to see who he is and what he is.
Don’t try to compete with those APs. They are a dime a dozen to him. They are interchangeable because they are "things" that he uses for short term euphoria.
He is constantly looking for something to fill that hole but unless he gets it figured out you will continue to see this behavior.
I suggest EMDR because it brings up hidden bad memories which he probably has a ton of.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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id 8804675

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 2:01 PM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Cooley2here You are so right!!!

Looking at how he lives his life shows me that he is a bucket with a hole and YOU can’t keep it filled with your love and loyalty. Neither can all these women.

That’s exactly what I feel!

I told him that in general you are a very good man, good husband and father but your complexes and fears take over you and you always turn in the wrong direction. You follow your weaknesses ... And doesn’t matter how much I try to show you my love and care, your childhood fears of being alone and low self-esteem wins over you.

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

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id 8804677

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:51 PM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

I told him that in general you are a very good man, good husband and father but your complexes and fears take over you and you always turn in the wrong direction. You follow your weaknesses ... And doesn’t matter how much I try to show you my love and care, your childhood fears of being alone and low self-esteem wins over you.

Good spouses do not make conscious decisions to cheat. Good Fathers do not abuse their mothers. Good People do not hurt the people they love.

He is a grown man that has hurt you in the same way more than once. No amount of love, and sacrifice will fix that in him. He has to do that for himself. He has not done it yet in his life. He may want to, but he has not. So I would recommend that you start to separate yourself from him, and start healing yourself, and let him decide if he is willing to do the work. Set a timeframe give him 3 months, 6 months, to see what he does. Then you do you. If he does the work, and commits to healing his broken ass then maybe give him another change, but sister, do you really want to allow your heart to be broken yet again? Once was enough for me.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20206   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8804680

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:34 PM on Thursday, August 17th, 2023

I agree with Tush Nurse and whether you go or stay HE needs to look for, and attend, therapy. Nothing will change until HE decides to change.

How will you feel in another 15 yrs if he is still like this?

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 3:35 PM, Thursday, August 17th]

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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id 8804686

CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 3:49 AM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

Sounds like if you could figure out what his trigger is, what it is he is missing that is causing him to do this, it might help you put a stop to it.

posts: 353   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Eastern States
id 8806113

 wolfhowl (original poster new member #83736) posted at 7:43 AM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

Thank you CoderMom for your message… have you experienced this??? Could you change something? My husband broke off all relations with AP, of this I am sure, he sent me screen shots where it was said that he made a huge mistake and his loyalty (sounds funny in this situation), belongs to me and his family for the rest of his life because we deserved it. He tries. He begs me to give him a chance and he will be my faithful partner all my life. My heart breaks in confusion. Violating all the rules and recommendations, I wrote a message to AP ... I received a response from AP, mostly she couldn’t care less, that my family is falling apart and she just destroyed it, she only cares that her (AP) family does not find out about her relationship with my husband. A trigger - I'm afraid to say, but it could be me! Men give me some time inappropriate, pay special attention. I will answer right away - I do not provoke! But I see special and excessive attention from the male sex everywhere. I suspect that my husband has an insecurity complex about me... and this relationship on the side, the attention from another woman just strengthens his self-confidence - ego boost. Could it be? And what to do with all that???

You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Aug. 16th, 2023   ·   location: Switzerland
id 8806123

The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 12:14 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

I’m sorry but I have to disagree with the idea that if

you could figure out his triggers you could stop his cheating.

That’s a hard no. In fact that’s a HELL NO!

If HE wants to stop cheating he will.

If HE wants to change he will.

YOU cannot get a person to change or stop their behavior or influence them to stop cheating.

I could give you a million examples of human behavior. Simplest one is someone who is an addict - drugs, alcohol, eating, shopping or hoarding. Whatever. You can talk until you are blue in the face but until the person with the addiction decides to commit to sobriety etc. — nothing changes.

Your H has a need for attention and an ego boost from other women. Until HE figures out why and decides to stop, he will continue to make the same choices.

I hope this helps you.

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

posts: 13970   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8806128

UKgirl ( member #17062) posted at 12:29 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

Coming in as an oldie here. It sounds as though there has been nothing sexual going on – am I right there? I'm going to carry on assuming that is the case - it seems he has a bad case of KISA syndrome and a need to rescue dumsels in distress which gives him the nice feel good fuzzy feelings when said dumsel tells him how wonderful he is and how he can see things that the husband/partner/SO doesn’t see. The other, more worrying part, is that he is keeping these communications (and meetings) secret from you. And THAT is the big red flag for me. Anything that is a secret is secret for a reason and this was not some nice surprise party he was planning for you, was it? It was behaviour he knew you would disapprove of, it was something that if he ran it by you first, you would say it was not acceptable. Besides, he has no business talking to or giving "advice" to his ex about the state of her marriage. It’s HER marriage. His response to her reaching out should have been along the lines of "I’m really sorry to hear that, I think you need to find some professional advice rather than asking me anything at all. It’s inappropriate. I wish you well in the future." And then to tell you that she had messaged (or whatever) and he had flipped her off. Remember that it’s almost irrelevant as to who the AP is – she’s just the one who happened to push his buttons. The fact that she doesn’t give two figs about you or your family and is only concerned that HER world may be turned upside down doesn’t surprise me in the least. So don’t interact unless she refuses to disappear from your lives and concentrate on your own situation.

It does sound as if he is unable or unwilling to stop this type of cheating – because cheating is what it is. He says that what you have is worth fighting for, but he wouldn’t need to fight if he didn’t do these things in the first place. You have to think about what you want now. And how do you see your future if you stay or if you go? If you stay, are you going to spend the rest of time monitoring? If not, what will you do if it happens again…… and again….. and again? YOUR life. Think about what YOU want.

Big hugs

Affair1: Dday 30/07/06 LTA: 5yrs ex-fiancee Affair2: Dday 04/09/20 9mths another XHSgf.Me/BS, still young. Him/WS, old. 4 grown boysHaving an affair because you are unhappy is like eating Ex-lax because you are hungry - unfound's mom

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id 8806130

Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 1:30 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2023

Not to do an armchair diagnosis, but I wonder if he has issues with intimacy (not sex--being truly emotionally intimate with a partner). The reason I'm asking is that it seems he is using these women to avoid true intimacy with his partner. He tells these women some things, tells you some things and he can avoid putting all his emotional intimacy into one persob.

As others have pointed out, serial cheating is its own animal and it is much harder to change when one has relied on cheating for things like avoiding conflict or difficulty. He has to make a conscious effort to invest in changing things that are very fundamental to him.

Some people enjoy the illicit thrill of affairs, or the "high" of lying to their partner. This, too, has to be confronted and changed, and it is definitely not an easy thing.

I guess I would put it back on him: What is going to be different this time? What concrete steps do you plan to take to change this behavior? I would want a concrete plan which should include (but not be limited to) extensive IC, firm and verifyable NC with all APs, a commitment to radical truth-telling and transparency with everything. Make no mistake--this is difficult stuff.

It's been my personal experience that serial cheating is a lifestyle that many are loathe to give up.


FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

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id 8806133
Topic is Sleeping.
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