Newest Member: Timewilltell44

1345Marine

Weaponized incompetence makes divorce nearly impossible

It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm sure a lot of my story is in my profile. I'm thankful this community is here for support. Essentially, I've finally settled on divorce. Reconciliation just has not been fruitful. And this morning I caught WW with a tab open in the background of her phone that was old messages with AP, I think. She initially froze and just protected her phone when I saw the pet name for him. So I can't be 100% certain they're not current messages. Regardless, she confessed to having a hidden photo vault on her phone through an app she downloaded where she keeps their history. I didn't need to go through that. Sex videos and the whole works were in that memory box. So it really doesn't matter if the messages were current or not. That's too big a violation in and of itself when she promised me she had deleted all their stuff.

So now, what does divorce look like. Throughout the reconciliation attempt, everything has simply revolved around WW trying to get medications correct for bi polar, BPD, and maybe a couple others her psychiatrist diagnosed her with. She's been trying to get through drug recovery. It's been all about her trying to get to the root of her issues. But that's just sucked all the oxygen out of affair recovery, and it's been miserable, and honestly even before this morning I've been teetering in how long I could endure this. She sleeps ALL DAY LONG, multiple days a week. Even my daughters, aged 17 and 14, have thanked me recently because they "recognize I'm the only reason they have a life" because she's so unreliable and self centered. We also have a 12 year old son home with us, and a 19 year old out on his own (recovering from meth addiction himself, which has went well BTW and our relationship has improved dramatically).

Ww has been enrolled in an RN program, but has failed out multiple times. She does have a CNA license and has been working a few days a week doing that, but she's already been late multiple times and talking about problems at work that make me suspect this job won't last long. In a perfect world, she would finish her RN program and be working making a decent income so alimony wouldn't be as bad and there would just be more available money to make divorce and starting two new households possible. But, that's years away if she gets herself together enough to finally graduate. I don't want to endure infidelity for years and give up time of my life I could be building something new.

So that's where I'm stuck. I can't afford to divorce. And I have a friend willing to let me live in his camper in his back yard, my closest friend on Earth. That'd be free, but I'd still be responsible for the bills at home. We could try in home separation and write up the paperwork where I'd live in the basement, but that seems hellish too. And I'm certain as soon as I get that drawn up, she will drop the RN program and thus mean I'll be financially destitute trying to leave her. She just keeps repeating, "I want us, I want you" every time I try to talk through any of this. But, we've tried. She cannot give up AP or be a safe partner, and I'm tired of living like this. I can't much longer. My mental health is fading too, slipping into depression I've got to fight every single day ruminating on the adultery and having little assurance it's over. I didn't want divorce, but somethings gotta change.

And that brings my last but most important issue. Whatever I do, I'm hurting my children. If I leave, I leave them with an absent mother who sleeps all the time and won't even do her own laundry or clean up after herself or wash a single dish or make appointments for the children or be reliable as a ride from sports. And I go to a place that's too small for them to stay with me. Even after separation, I feel like I'm leaving my children who didn't ask ti be born into this with a mother who won't be able to care for herself or them. Perhaps I am enabling her. Surely I am. But the alternative has been to let everything collapse and live in disorganized mess of chaos and have children suffer. So I just handle it all. My children deserve that. I can fight for custody in the divorce, and we can all rail on here that that's right and I should get it, but we all know how unpredictable a family court is. So there's a very real chance I wind up leaving them under her care for large swaths of time in a split custody scenario. Has anyone else ever dealt with anything like this? How did you cope? What were your thoughts? I appreciate any and all feedback.

17 comments posted: Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Non affair marriage problems in the light of adultery

It's interesting to me how it seems since dday, so much of our marriage comes back to adultery. Surely all the multiple ddays and lies and trickle truth don't help. But I'm curious from others how much they connected a ws's flaws in other areas back to adultery, or how much of a setback that was. I'm finally at the place where if I ever discover any adultery again, I'm 1000% out. That's settled. There will never be another chance. I'm finally healed enough from my codependent tendencies to know that's true. That has a sliding scale, of course. Like, if I find out she's texting a guy but it seems too flirty to me but not outright sexting, well, I'm not sure I'd pull the plug over that. But I just don't know. But I'm now finally very clear in my mind that any explicit stuff, hiding men from me, hiding any contact with ap, or obviously physical infidelity, I'm moving on with no more chances. That's been conveyed to her as well, whether she believes it or not. And I've given ample reason for her to believe I'm a pushover she can always find the right words to pull back in. But I know it's different now than its ever been. I know my mind and settled disposition of my soul like no one else ever can.

But what about other things? For instance, if you're having money fights and they lie about spending, or they say they agree to do one thing or stop using Amazon or whatever, and then fail to follow through? Thar tells me that they still are in a place of being able to be two people (concerned about money and on my team to my face, free spender whose really just going to do it their way behind my back). And that's the same trait needed to conduct an affair. Being a convincing liar is a trait needed to conduct an affair. And I tie it all together if you're still a convincing liar about spending habits. What got me here was a conversation with DD as she was complaining about a laptop she needs and we're fighting to find the money, meanwhile her mom bought herself a new one for her RN classes (needed, but it became a fight because I think she could've made it work until we had the money and she chose to just go open a new credit card). So DD was upset that she's making do with what she has while we try to save the money, while mom just did it her way with zero income and expecting me to pay it off. A few months back, ww had to disclose a lot of credit card debt she'd hidden because she wasn't making enough even while she was working to keep up on the payments. So after examine the bill to see where it all went, and a lot of conversation and assurances thar we were finally on the same page and she wasn't going to use the credit card anymore, I liquidated half our family emergency fund to bail her out of it. She was so remorseful and convinced me that we could finally be on the same page with money, that the juggling act hiding it and the interest on her had finally taught her something. But then DD tells me in our conversation that she was arguing with mom and brought up her opening a new credit card and just buying a laptop when I had just bailed her out a few months ago (she's almost 18, so she does kind of know our family finances a bit), and according to her, her mom just flippantly responded that paying that off was "your dads choice, not mine". And there's the crux of the issue. That shows me two split people again. One way to me when it happens, then another person and attitude entirely fighting with our daughter. And that sucks, but in itself, it's a marriage problem that I'd never leave her over. We fight through it, til death do us part. It's just money. But now I see it in light of her affairs and am totally reminded of her ability to seem so sincere to me, while away from me being someone totally different.

So how much does the affair affect other parts of the marriage for you guys? Are there now deal breakers that never would've been deal breakers before the affair? I know it can't be a standard of perfection. A) I can't hit the standard. And B) she's still a human with flaws and areas we must work through without everything turning into my recourse being leaving the marriage. What about if you've had an addict as a spouse? Does a relapse or hiding that stuff mean you're out? I am not so sure for myself, I'm still working through my deal breakers and boundaries. But I want to set those such that I'm not doodling us to divorce just because she's a flawed human with issues. So it's hard to know where to set the bar on a lot of this.

13 comments posted: Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

I messed up and read some pro adultery/ how-to content online, went down the rabbit hole

So it started innocently enough. I was simply looking up how Life360 works because I think it may help me find some level of security with WW on a practical level, and we're also having some issues with teenage children where I feel like it could be helpful. I googled it, and one of the top three results was from some website called Medium and it was about "how to avoid life360 hell" or something like that. The article was a WW who was advising other Waywards to throw a fit and ensure that their family doesn't get this app and giving advice on how to cheat around it if you do have it. That led me down this rabbit hole and reading all the people celebrating their adultery and giving tips on how to deceive the betrayed. It's heartbreaking. Devastating. And I guess the hard part is knowing that, at least at some point, my wife was in that mindset to some degree (even if she wouldn't celebrate it). But then trying to gauge where we are now, it's not very helpful to read others who are in "reconciliation" but celebrating on online forums how they are able to continue deceiving the BS by being so convincing in their sincerity and adamant in their devotion to fixing what they broke with their BS (to their face), while secretly living a double life. Is that my spouse? Who knows? The point is that the betrayed living THAT hell that these remorseless waywards are describing don't seem to realize their in it too. And it's plainly evident that my wife was able to pull the wool over my eyes for a long time, and she's done the very things their describing with the pleading and tears in her eyes and impassioned assurances that it's only me and no one else, all while her life revolved around her love and romance with another man. So.... reading stories of others doing it, and knowing my wife HAS done it to me, and knowing that by definition I can't really know if it's happening to me now if it is. This infidelity shit sucks. It just feels hopeless. It's unsettling to realize how easily you've been fooled and really, truly remember and face it and think "it could happen again". I'd avoided pro adultery stuff intentionally ever since this hell started on DDay, but for some reason I thought I was strong enough to step into the minds of remorseless waywards and try to understand or gain some insight. I am not. That's a cesspool I'd advise every BS to avoid at all costs.

13 comments posted: Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Afraid i missed my shot and leaving now is just cruel; update

So this is kind of my update I didn't really want to give...

I had another DDay about 2 months ago, with an entirely different AP. This was a ONS with someone I once would've considered my best friend. It was a drug fueled night, and I found out because the dudes ex gf reached out and told me. I confronted WW, and she admitted to it. Him and I lost contact because he was screwing a secretary at work, and it was his umpteenth affair. I didn't know all the particulars, but I knew he had had multiple affairs his wife was working through reconciliation over. I'm 2019 he left his wife and children. Basically abandonment, and I could not support him. I lost respect for him and ceased the friendship and contact. My WW remained his friend, and it always bothered me, but I didn't know any better at the time. I didn't realize how close they stayed. So he started dating a girl after he left his wife, and after they broke up, she reached out to me with what she knew. Basically that my buddy had fucked my wife. Ironically, she cheated on me and AP with this dude (how fucked is that to even write). She says her therapist told her to not tell me, as no good could come of it. Who knows if that's true. It was a colossal mistake on every level, and she certainly would never go back to him, so why add more to my plate to forgive (great therapist, huh). Problem is, as I explained to her, if you were masterbating in our bed thinking about another man or men or men and women and orcs or whatever the hell it may be.... sure, don't tell me. That's in your mind and there's no risk I could ever find out. But once you do something in time and space in the real world with another human being, there's always the chance it could come out. That was the flaw in stupid therapists logic (assuming that's true advice she received). That needed to come out on one of the previous DDays.

Here's the fucked part. I don't care. It hurts, sure, but it pales in comparison to the 3 year affair with AP to such a degree that it's kinda like, "whatever, of course you did". I had a chance to test my theory of if it would hurt less with someone I considered not a rival, and despite the thoughts here the answer was a resounding yes. I know my friend. Knew him anyway. And he is any woman's biggest mistake. He has poor hygiene for God's sake. 6'6" fat guy with poor hygiene and halitosis. I feel like WW was just slumming, and it adds fuel to my belief that she was just so fucked up and drug addicted that she had no standards. We'd discussed him when it all happened and he left his family before i kmew about any affairs. He was completely non respectable. She meant it that she didn't even see him as a MAN. He abandoned his children. She maintained the friendship as like a littke brother she always hoped would wake the fuck up and at least be a dad. But no, he remained a man whore. Now he's homeless and living off whatever friends will cover his ass. He's a child. And it may be a generalization, and I'm sorry if it is, but I firmly believe it's even lower for a woman to sleep with a guy she doesn't respect than it is for a man just chasing pussy. I believe, as a generalization that could be wrong, that men are more prone to not even need to respect a woman to sleep witn her if he's horny and she's a warm body in a ONS situation. It seems extra degrading when a woman goes for ONS sex with a non respectable ugly man with poor hygiene. But again, that's my bias and beliefs that may not be true. So forgive me for generalizing, please. But that lense through which I view things, in a weird way, helps me see WW as just totally fucked up during the time period under discussion. It wasn't about me. She just craved any non judgemental male attention she could get. It shows with the multiple other men via snapchat during that time period as well (fall 2019 to fall 2022). Ww was an addict. A drug addiction that I never knew the extent of, and an attention addict..anything to remove her from reality.

And it hurts, yeah. It's hurting more as time goes on. But compared to pornstar 10 inch cock primary AP she fell in love with.... this new revelation just doesn't hurt or threaten me (yeah, looking through an old iPad about 2 weeks ago, I found sex pics of her and pornstar cock 3 year AP with the tiny bird chest and girly arms that I cannot unsee now, she thought she'd deleted all that out. It wasn't stored in a special place or anything, I was just thoroughly and obsessively looking through pics on this old iPad and she'd forgotten one).

But that's where we are. And ONS with my gross former friend happened during the affair. It was all during the affair timeline. Other guys on snapchat with dick pics and all of that as well. Did she sleep with them? How the hell should I know? I freely admit I don't know. She says no. And she confessed to the snapchat shit without needing to. But she always swore I knew it all anyway. So, who knows? Everything this year, since a video that showed her going back to AP in January that she denied and some may remember me talking about.... everything this year has pointed to her wanting to reconcile. I've had access to everything. We've watched movies on her phone where any dude could pop up if they were messaging her (that never would've happened before). I have location. She's clean of the drugs. In.therapy and psychiatry and taking sobriety incredibly seriously. She's slipped once, and confessed with no way for me to catch her if she'd hidden it. Her entire existence SEEMS to be geared to drug recovery and reconciliation.

But I'm not so sure the damage isn't just too much to bear. I want to believe shes for real and can be a different person. But what if she CAN? Ok. That's great. But im tired of comparing myself to 10 inch pornstar dick AP and feeling inadequate. I never felt that before. I'm a slightly above average dude in that area, but I wouldn't want to be in porn with the biggest in the world. I was secure. Very very secure. Now I always wonder. She's had him. Am I inadequate? She says he hurt. But, she also lusted for him craved him and praised him during the affair in the texts I've read. So, what's true? Who knows? I'm just tired of wondering. She says that now, unfortunately, in the worst way, she knows thar sexually I'm exactly what she desires. But is that true? It's not what she told him.at the height of limmerance (which can be deceiving too, I know, it's so much I can't know). And that's the problem. I just don't trust her. But I stuck it out this long. And she seems more sincere now than ever. And there are more prove it actions than ever before from her. But it's been so much, and I'm tired. And I feel like if I was gonna leave, I should've done it when I found out about this stuff. Waiting until now, a year into drug abuse recovery and all we've been through, it seems cruel even to me. And I'm not totally sure it's what i want. I work in a place that is 95% women. I'm the attractive body builder fix it guy with the beautiful green eyes (,so I've been told and come to believe). I get hit on CONSTANTLY..it's alluring. What would it be like to start fresh? A woman who didn't hurt me like this? Just to be able to say "yes" to any number of these women and just get to know other human beings, not necessarily sleep witn them. But even witn that.... who knows where any of that would lead? Could be bad too. Maybe the WW has finally come clean and there's a chance fir a beautiful future with us and our grand babies one day. Who knows? But I don't know how to trust her. And I'm sick of comparing myself to any AP. I'm sick of feeling inferior sexually to primary AP. I'm sick of feeling like she may always love him and is only witn me because he wouldn't leave his wife (though she swears that's untrue). I'm sick of wondering what's true behind her eyes. I'm tired. And I don't know which way to go. Thus, I'm stuck in this limbo I've described.

Maybe I'm just venting. Maybe I'm just putting my thoughts into words on an anonymous internet forum. I have no idea what I'm doing. I guess I'm hoping someone has bee. Somewhere close to here before. Maybe not though. I appreciate letting me vent,regardless.

18 comments posted: Monday, September 18th, 2023

Im mad/hurt way too deeply over a football team

This is a weird post, and I'd love to hear some thoughts. With as bad as betrayal and infidelity hell has been, today I took a kick to the gut that hurts way more than I think it should. But it does. I'm a diehard redskins/commanders fan since I was a child and my dad and I made it our thing. It's big to me. Football season is akin to Christmas to me. Ww never got on board, not a huge sports fan, no big deal. Today I went to opening day with my 11 year old son. Ww's AP is a fanatical steelers fan, has the car decked out, basically brands himself as steelers everything. I noticed WW wore a steelers hoodie during the affair, but she Saud it was from a random box, and I've got a grown son and other male family, so I never put it together until post dday. Today my son made the innocuous comment that "mom says the steelers are her favorite team and wants me to like them"..... that hurt. Not only did she embrace a team for him in a way she never wanted to do for me, but then tried to steer my son that way knowing how valuable that bond has been for my dad and me and I wanted with my sons. It may not happen for a million other reasons, they might just decide they love cowboy blue. I don't know. But for her to embrace and then steer my young son towards AP's favorite team???? That just sucks and hurts. I'm overreacting in the big scheme of things. I guess I'm just venting. Thank you for giving me a place to do it.

17 comments posted: Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I believe this was a big milestone in healing

I still have no idea if I'm reconciling or just delaying the inevitable. There's been a lot more that's happened that I just never took the time to update in my situation. So the healing milestone is 100% about myself and not the marriage. Her iPad started ringing yesterday, and that was a huge red flag, as if she's using alternative methods of communicating again. But, it was still the password she told me, and it was my oldest son's friend trying to reach her. He's off at college, and WW has assumed a second mother type role to him over the years. So that was all above board. But i started looking in her old files and pictures, and she's deleted most of it, but this is an old iPad she just started using again for her college courses. So there was an old shirtless pic of AP from a few years ago, not kept in a special place or anything, just randomly amongst a bunch of old pictures and texts. I looked at him, at the height of their affair, and for the first time thought, "Good God did she affair down....." It's hard for me to put into words how different that is for me. I've spent a year and a half seeing this guy as a hyped up Adonis sex God non human to whom I could never compare. And I've seen him multiple times, and it has almost been like "body dismorphia" on someone else. But yesterday I looked, and studied him shirtless at his apex. Nevermind his garbage character that pursues a married woman and rhen cheats on his wife with that married woman without regards to the damage he's doing to children and his spouse or her spouse (same goes for WW, I get it). But divorced from all that, just looking at him. He looks like a blemished old man whose never lifted anything heavy in his life at 32 years old. He has very dull eyes and a disproportionate face. I'm not intending merely to take shots at AP, but I'm trying to say that I've never seen it. Never. And now I did. And I take body building pics to track my progress over months and years, so I compared us. We're different races, so that makes us look very different, and I'm sure some women are exclusively attracted to black men, some exclusively attracted to white, and a broad middle attracted to both depending on the person. So setting aside that some women would prefer me and some him just because of what they're attracted to with regards to ethnicity, there's no comparison. I crush this dude. She went WAY down. Im a fucking 9 or 10. You just have to take my word for it, obviously laugh . But now I see it again. And that confidence they stole from me has come back. I'll be OK. I'm a desirable dude with a lot to offer. He's unfaithful garbage whose scared of cats, dogs, bees, the dark, and me. My body is very much shaped like a "V", with giant shoulders and back tapering to a 32 waist. He's scum shaped like a lower case "i", with a big head sitting on top of a skinny shapeless body. He has dull, dead looking eyes. I have vibrant green eyes that have always gotten comments from women about their beauty. I win. I always did. I finally see it though. I think your spouse choosing another person over you can break you so badly that you forget who you are and are unable to see things as they truly are.

11 comments posted: Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

What would "doing the work" even look like?

I think it's a very basic question, but I'm honestly a little stumped by it. I remember a comment from a member (can't remember name, so please forgive me) where she said she didn't want her WH doing nice things for her out of fear he'd confuse that with "doing the work" of reconciliation and infidelity recovery. I agree, as I had said that I told WW to stop making my meals and packing my lunch and doing nice things for me because it made things harder. I didn't see the connection with a WS potentially seeing those things as the work until the other member said it, but it was a very astute insight.

So in your eyes, what is the work? I guess all I want is "don't cheat on me". So, it's easy for me to miss the steps in proving that and what would be positive signs towards that. Maybe if I could see them I'd either be reassured as to WWs commitment or lack thereof. Obviously after 3 DDays not enough work has been done because, again, all I really want is "don't cheat on me" (seems reasonable to me).

Is it therapy? Location sharing on devices? Phone and social media transparency? Building micro trusts as life happens and your honest? Strict committment to a "no mind altering substances" policy? NA meetings? I mean I have ideas I guess of what a commitment looks like and doesn't, but obviously I'm pretty bad at this game to be spinning wheels and stupid enough to be deceived as many times as I have. So what were some signs or reassurances that WS was doing the work to you? What were violations of that that told you they were not doing the work?

Love and respect to you all.

10 comments posted: Sunday, February 26th, 2023

An update on where my mind is

Good morning. I wanted to write out thoughts on my situation. I've been hiding at work, and honestly it's easier to be there. I work 12 hour nights, 7 nights in a row. 7 on/7 off. I just finished my 7 on, and it's truthfully been a blessing to just be in my routine of work, eat, sleep, repeat without time to really do much else. Now I'm home and I feel like I've got to make very hard moves and the decisions are paralyzing.

My WW is still insistent that she wants only me. I asked her to stop making me meals before work, stop packing my lunch, stop going out of her way to be kind and doing "good wife" things for me. It seems like maybe it just makes things more painful. Maybe it's manipulation, but I don't really think so. But I wouldn't be shocked if I had an omniscient point of view and it revealed that her motivation is manipulative as well. She's utterly insistent in her story about making up the conversations, willing to take a polygraph to prove it. But what's the point? She fails that and then says she was just very nervous and she plays into my distrust of polygraph testing and we're right back here, a thousand bucks poorer (about what I've been able to find for polygraph testing, and that's over 2 hours away). But if. What if? She says she understands it's crazy. But on that night she WAS crazy. She says she made a stupid decision to cold turkey all the mood stabilization medications she's been on since she started seeing a psychiatrist and got off the adderall. I'm going to disagree with a lot of the responses I've seen here and appeal to what I've seen living with her for decades and say my WW is NOT an alcoholic. She's just not. We could pour it all out and it wouldn't bother her. She likes to drink from time to time. She could become an alcoholic. She's addicted to running away from her brain, be that through alcohol, pot, mindless TV, whatever. Maybe that's even a root cause of the infidelity. But regardless, I'm trying to say that she has been an amphetamine addict. I guess the proper way to say it is thar she IS, and always will be, either actively or in recovery. Right now I'm convinced she's clean from it. I just know what she's like when abusing amphetamines, and shes not exhibiting those behaviors and hasn't been since she got out the hospital in October. She's sleeping. She's eating. She's not picking at her face and grinding her teeth with constant dry mouth. So I do believe she's made major strides in staying clean from the drug that took her down so hard for the last half decade. I've looked for pills, even opening all the pill bottles in her car and actually examining to be sure it's really ib profen in the advil bottle, etc.

I'm saying all that to say that I do absolutely believe she's making great strides in sobriety, and has been. Maybe all alcohol needs to be out the house. I rarely drink anyway because I've become a body builder over the past year and watch nutrition pretty closely.

But she is on a lot of mood stabilizers. Her doctors are leaning towards a BPD diagnosis. It makes sense. She's definitely battling mental illness. And mentally ill people do mentally ill things, like make up elaborate schemes that make sense to them in the moment and make no sense to anyone else. And she maintains that she had gotten tired of having so little emotion, she wanted to be off her meds. I've seen this from afar with other mentally ill family (my own grandmother) to know it's a common pitfall for people to just decide to secretly stop taking meds because of how they make them feel. I would. I don't want to be on anything that alters my personality. So what if? What if? How can I ever know? What if it was all an elaborate, crazy ruse that got away from her because my daughters caught it before she could abort her plan the next day? Well, then she didn't actually go back to AP, if that were somehow true. And I do have to wrestle with and consider that in October of last year AP did reach out. He tried to rekindle it. He was professing his love and doing all he could to get his hooks back in her. And she showed me. Carried on the conversation via messenger right in front of me. Allowed me to take pictures of the conversation to give to his wife. She betrayed him to me and in no way protected him. Gave him to me on a silver platter with all of his words so I could be at his house and completely blow it up the next morning. That certainly is a step towards severing the relationship with him, and I'm not even totally sure that she COULD restart a relationship with him after how that went down and all the information I had on him. I'm not sure he would be willing to trust her again. But who the hell knows?

So if it was a crazy ruse, and somehow that could be proven, then that IS different in my eyes. Addiction? Ill stay no matter what it costs me in pain. I made that vow, for better or worse. That's worse, and it's covered in what i vowed. Mental illness? That's worse too. And still covered by my marriage vow. If adultery is over, i want to stay and nurture her through that. It's just the adultery I'm not willing to take. But did it happen? Of course it did for years. Yes it did afterwards too in a false reconciliation. All that is true. But what about this one? I suspect she rekindled with him. It makes the most sense. But this voice keeps crying, "what if".

She says her psychiatrist wants me to come to her sessions, wants to pull me into this process and start working with me as well in how to work with her. I'm willing. She says her therapist wants me to come to some of her sessions too. I'm willing to do that too, even if for no other reason than to make us better Co parents post divorce and try to make this process easier through better communication and understanding of one another. But deep down I truly believe that this "reconciliation" road only leads right back here again at some undisclosed time in the future. But what if not?

So now the sun's about to come up. My children will be getting up for school soon. And I'll have a day of feeling like I have to make moves and decisions all day. I'm not sure what decisions to make. But I feel like not making them means I just get stuck here, and that's unacceptable. Go ahead and kick my ass with those 2×4's that SI so lovingly dishes out at times, lol. I mean that. I wouldn't keep writing if I didn't. I feel love in the 2×4's upside the head as well. I'll check back throughout the next couple of days and try to respond as I'm able. Love and respect to everyone in here doing selfless work of trying to love strangers on the internet going through life altering trauma. You're appreciated.

7 comments posted: Friday, February 17th, 2023

I'm having a really rough night, so I wanted to just reach out/vent

Hello all,
I realize that I'm writing in this a lot, and I apologize if I'm writing too much. But I work a night shift alone and the nights get so incredibly lonely, writing makes me feel a bit more connected to humans. I could go up on the floors and talk to nursing staff, but I'm just not ready to do that. Besides, there's no one I trust enough or know enough on any level that I'd be able to talk about this all consuming topic that's just got me feeling like I have no insides. I protected my marriage. I truly did. Four years in this place and I don't think I know 5 womens' names here, and there are very very few men. So I've always just kind of stayed to myself around all the machinery. All my eggs were in my wife's basket. She was the one I'd text throughout the night if I talked to anyone. So now I'm just this broken dude who sits by himself, and even if I wanted to go try to make friends, this version of me is the last version I want to introduce anyone to.

This whole thing is a whirl wind. I feel like I'm experiencing the full range of what can happen. My wife is desperate for me to stay, desperate to convince me that she didn't actually talk to AP and it was all a ruse that got out of hand, a ruse that came from a dark dark place inside her. She wanted to set me free, but was also convinced that I was cheating too and had gotten tired of the coldness she felt from me, so she was also trying to hurt me. She says she just never intended for it to get back to me after she had done it, but it got caught before she could stop it. But even if somehow that were true, I still have to deal with the cruelty of what she did. She cheated for years, has expressed how she never could've dreamed the look of pain and devastation and "literally watching your soul leave your body" when I found out. She talked often of how that changed her (though not enough to stop her from going back to him the time she admitted after DD1 and prior to DD2). She knows how it hurt. And even if she was typing to herself, she made sure to write lines like, "I never got behind on my work because I was busy fucking you (AP). But I did usually come back to work to fuck you. And there were quite a few times I talked you out of work or tried to help you finish your work to get you to fuck me, lol." If it's a made up ruse, she still wrote that. She wrote that at the time with intention for me to find. Or, much more likely, she was actually saying that to AP a couple short weeks ago. How do you do that to someone? Why make this as painful as humanly possible?

So she's desperate for me to stay, swears we can still rebuild what we've broken, but at the same time tries to convince me that I'm a narcissist and I destroyed her first. She lies and lies and lies, and then accuses me of lying all the time. She makes statements about how I only tell my side of the story to my family to make myself the victim, but I haven't made up a single thing. I own my past. I was a bad husband on a lot of levels. I've never hit her and I've never cheated and I've never really even said anything utterly mean as far as name calling. I've said things I wish I hadn't said, but I don't recall ever trying to take cheap shots at things that I knew would hurt her. Maybe I have and surely she remembers them. I have always been a more than 50/50 partner on caring for our kids and housework and cooking and cleaning and laundry, and I handle 100% of the yardwork and mechanical work and fixing stuff that breaks. But I was cold. Even before the adultery. I was a terrible friend. I was controlling. I'd micromanage our finances and put her in a box where she always felt like she was screwing up. She did have to walk on eggshells around me because nothing she did was ever good enough. I very rarely complimented her, and I was a terrible friend. I didn't value her friendship or want to spend the time with her necessary. I was a workaholic. I'd wake up in the morning and just go, go, go trying to get all the "things" done. I grew up in a single mother home, and somewhere in my brain I became convinced that handling the providing and fixing all the things and doing all the work was what made a good husband. I saw my mom struggle with the weight of all that, and we got married so young, and all I thought I needed to focus on was those things. It's her common line that she had to beg me even for a hug. And there's truth in that. I would tell her that I just don't need physical affection like she does, and if she needed a hug she just needed to remind me. I'd try, but I couldn't rewire myself to need what she needed (but God I miss the hugs and sweetness now). And I did change. And she admitted that I changed. It took a marriage shakeup to make it happen, but I became a different man for five years. But she was already broken by then, and within a period of time had a new thing going with AP, so whatever I did was irrelevant by that point. But she even has admitted on multiple occasions that she could see me trying so much harder. And while I certainly own the damage I did, I don't know what a person can do more than actively start changing and keep it up year after year trying to prove that this is the new normal. But now she talks regularly about how I don't have any humanity left and I'm a lying monster and I broke her but I'll make everyone think it was all her fault. But I even left a IC that I was seeing because he told me on multiple occassions to leave my wife, and I just didn't want to hear it. So I sided with my wife and stopped seeing him. Why would I lie to my own IC in a private setting? I guess i'm just lonely and reaching out. My heart hurts. I know what I need to do, so I don't need a lot of tough love telling me to leave. I'm doing that. I desperately wish I didn't have to.

Sending love to everyone else out there who's hurting.

18 comments posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

DDay #3; I'm just broken by it all

Some of you may have read my story previously. The condensed version is that my WW admitted to a 2 and a half year affair back in March of last year. We tried to reconcile, and she convinced me it was going well, but she went back to AP in May of 2022. I didn't find out until October of 2022, and it blindsided me. Turns out there were addiction issues as well, and she was hospitalized. Against the advice of most people on here and my friends and family, I decided to try again. This time she was sober, as she told me. I thought it was going well, but admittedly, I had a lot of trust issues and there were times of coldness towards her and I spoke harshly to her at times. One time in particular, as a for example I guess, she was working at the store where she met AP and where they had their affair in the beginning, and I saw on location sharing that she was working that store (he no longer works there). I sent her a message saying I hated her having to work that God foresaken store, and it bothered me that she even still could be in the place where he first kissed her, first fucked her, where they ran upstairs to be together and it all began, and I wished that damned store would burn to the ground. I was angry, and I just let the pain vent out.

Well, on Friday last week I got a call from an anonymous number. The called said they were a parent of one of my daughter's friends, and she had confided in her friend that she (my daughter) had caught my wife sexting the AP again. She confronted her about it and was sworn to secrecy for a myriad of reasons, but it was eating my daughter alive. The caller said she'd want to know if she were in my position, and she felt it was too much weight for a 16 year old girl to be carrying around. I agree wholeheartedly. I hate my children being in this. But I spoke with my daughter, and she cried and told me how torn she felt, but confirmed the story and showed me the video she had recorded of her mom's phone after she fell asleep. The video was her scrolling through the back and forth of all their messages. Messages reminiscing about the good old times and how badly she wanted him and all that stuff. Memories of the fun they had sneaking away together upstairs in that room. Them trying to plan time to get together and her telling him my schedule (I was working 36 hours of OT that week trying to pay off some of our debt, ironically). The part that hurt the most is that she had told him what I said about the store above, and they took turns laughing about how "dramatic" I am and complaining about how controlling I am. Then the story takes a weird, weird turn.

I confronted my WW, and she started crying. I told her I was relieved, not to worry about it. It was better to find out now than years down the road and that I truly wanted her to be happy and I wanted to move on with my life and try to create a future while I'm still in my late thirties. I told her I was relieved that I could start fresh and not always wonder if I was being cheated on. Deep down I was in agony, but I kept the stone face. I've forgiven so many times, I've never wanted anything more than to grow old with my wife I've been with since I was 16. I wanted to hold grandchildren with her. And all those dreams are now flushed down the drain. So she continues crying and telling me that she never met with him, it was a lot of talking, and that she only wants me but had gotten so low at how cold I had become and how mean my words could be at times. That was a bad night, and she didn't want him, but only wanted me to show care and love for her like he does. She wanted me to compliment her like he does. Wanted me to want her like he does. And she was so tired of feeling like I was staying against my will (and I have threatened divorce and stated I wanted a divorce multiple times over the past three months, but I think it was just pain and fear talking).

So she admits it, but then later that night changes her story. She says she admitted it because I looked so relieved, but it wasn't true, she had not even talked to AP. Forgive me if I confuse you, as I'm confused too. She created a new instagram account that is completely annonymous. That much is true, I know for certain. She created it because her closest friend is in a controlling/abusive relationship with a man who controls her conversations. She gave her the login information so she could log into it (like a shared account) and send messages to my wife that the controlling BF would never see. All this is true. I'll confirm that much. So the sexting messages were between my wife and this account that she created for a friend. Her story now is that she wanted to let me go, but she couldn't bear to do it, so at a very low moment with some alcohol involved, she concocted this whole thing to "let me find". She would have both accounts open and carry on the conversation with herself as if she were the AP. This would give me the smoking gun I need to "be set free". And she says she stayed with it upon confrontation because it looked like I was relieved and it worked. But once she sobered up the next morning she deleted everything because she didn't want to go through with the plan and wanted to "selfishly keep our marriage and keep trying". The problem was that that night after she passed out my daughter found it after seeing her over there hard at work on her phone like she was carrying on a long conversation (and she's caught her before, so she's always on high alert even against my pleadings that she not spy on her mom for me). My daughter sat on the video a few days before confronting her mom, but wouldn't believe her story. She nevertheless agreed not to tell me, and told me when I spoke with her that, "I'm never going to leave mom anyway, so why bother telling me..." So if it was a drunken plan my wife had, it was dishonest and crazy and it got away from her before she could delete it out because my daughter caught it. It's more likely, I think just looking at it, that AP had this account login information as well and used it just like her and her friend had used it in the past to destroy the evidence. I have no idea what to think, but I don't think it matters anymore. I've got a consultation with a divorce attorney, but this is still the hardest road I've ever thought about walking. I keep wanting to just wake up from this horrible dream. I guess i'm just venting and telling my story like a journal. I don't think I need any advice. I know what I've got to do. I could never trust her either way now. I don't know if it's provable that it was her faking like she says at a low point to "set me free" or if it was actually AP. And without that there's no way to ever trust anymore. As she's said many times, this time she's sober (off harder drugs anyway, she's not an alcoholic).

I'm sorry this got so long. I know I'm stretching everyone's patience in reading. I guess I just wanted to tell my story to a safe place where there is hopefully love and sympathy. My home feels like I'm living with a betraying enemy. My best friend is my betrayer. It's brutal. Love you all, and appreciate your eyes (ears).

49 comments posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

They stole music from me

I guess I'm in reconciliation or something like it. I'm really just taking it a day at a time and seeing what each new day brings. But tonight while driving I heard some love songs that have always been beautiful to me. So much music that is one of the simplest, most pure pleasures in life. Music is one of those spices of life that make it meaningful. Love is one of the most beautiful things we get to experience and inspires so much music, some of it transcendent even. But now I'm stuck always wondering if in WW's heart this music would recall that magical feeling of falling in love with AP. She says not, of course. She says she sees him with just shame and regret and there's nothing nostalgic or magical in her memory with him. But is that true? Maybe. I'll never know. I can't see through her eyes. The fact is that movies like "Titanic" exist, in which the main character after a long marriage and life lived with a husband, at the end reveals her heart was always with the one who got away. Movies like that exist because it's a very real human experience. So what would these songs mean to her? For whom do love songs spark her heart? I guess I'll always have this tinge of doubt, even if reconciliation is successful. Has anyone else ever thought about this? Anyone have any thoughts that may be helpful? It makes me kind of sad. I loved the music. Now the music is tainted. Maybe forever.

7 comments posted: Monday, December 5th, 2022

Didn't just find out, but it's been a storm. Hoping to hear wisdom

This first thread may be a bit long. If you stay with me, thank you in advance.

My story is convoluted, but I'm a BH (38) with a WW (37). I posted on here a few years back, and immediately deleted it all because I was scared my wife could somehow find it. And I was in speculation mode without a real, true "smoking gun" and I wanted to believe her back then. I've been on these forums reading voraciously ever since. Standard advice has been done. I've been STD tested, I do have an attorney on retainer with whom I've consulted and found out what a divorce may look like, and he's on hold to file the divorce papers, I've told the OM's wife. I just need a place to talk this out and see if my story is beyond broken at this point, and maybe just writing out the timeline will help me too.

In march of 2022, I found out that my wife had been in a full blown affair since July of 2019. Emotional, sexual, love, limmerance, and all of it. I work night shift, so they'd take day trips while I was sleeping and our 4 kids were in school. They'd go to a different city and get a hotel with day rates so they could be intimate during the day and then go out shopping and eating or whatever and be a "real couple" without risk of being caught in our home city. It started off at work between them, and somewhere right before Covid shut everything down, around February of 2020, he took a job an hour and a half away, so they started seeing each other way less. He still lives very near us, but he started commuting and the time they'd spend together at work (and office sex, of course, because why not) had to stop. So they no longer work together now. In March when I discovered it, I think she was trying to get caught. She left a phone with all their messages in the front pocket of her bag, with no password on the phone, knowing good and well that I was in blood hound mode searching her stuff and convinced she was cheating. She knew if I saw a strange phone in the front pocket of her bag, I'd read it. After confrontation, she managed to convince me to stay in the marriage and give her another chance. It's been a brutal 7 months, but I thought there was real progress. Things were different. She'd plead that I wasn't competing with this other guy, that he meant nothing to her, and she went out of her way to be the loving wife she had been before all this started years earlier (I forgot to mention we've been married 19 years). She was open with her phone, sharing location with me whenever she went places, we were living like a husband and wife serving one another and trying to be kind to one another, she started doing my laundry for me again and I started cooking for her again. Our sex life was incredible, but it always was even throughout her affair (except for a very short time where she did cut me off in the very early stages of her affair and I suspect the height of limmerance, butterflies, or whatever with him). But it was even better these past 7 months, with a deeper, more spiritual intimacy compounded onto the great physical part of knowing each other so well after all these years as a very sexual couple. She's sincerely been everything I think anyone could ask for in a WS committed to reconciling.

That's why I was utterly shocked to find out it's been a lie a couple of days ago. I'm now trying to find out how utterly of a lie it's been, from a spouse whose word I can't trust really at all. There's a much deeper back story going back five years, with a couple other men and what would be called emotional affairs that may have been physical, and one of which almost certainly was to some degree. But suffice to say, there's a long history of inappropriate messaging and conversations, even before her current affair partner that was discovered in March of this year. And I'm still not sure how much of that I fully believe her on. I almost tend to believe she's telling the truth about the flirting stuff in messaging stopping, but only because of her loyalty to her primary AP, not anything to do with us or our marriage. I think he stopped the other men.

Regardless, two days ago I went through her phone thinking I'd just be reassuring myself. I didn't expect to really find anything. I haven't looked in months and months. I'm just not wired that way, I just want to live and not be a detective all the time. But I look and behold there's sexting between her and a man from our kid's ballgame earlier in the week. They were at the ballfield, he told her to come sit beside him, and she responded with a meme saying "yes daddy" and then he sent her some 50 shades of gray memes and she responded in kind. This guy isn't the primary affair partner. She says it was all a joke, but acknowledges it's all cheating still. Crying, sorry. But freezing up and refusing to let me have her phone after she took it out of my hand. I call the guy because I know him since our kids have played ball together for years. He tells me how deeply sorry he is, acknowledges that it was screwed up, but assures me that he's never touched her and his story lines up exactly with her. It's all more jokes than anything else. But he tells me, "There is another man, and it's not me you have to worry about. You need to go through your wife's phone and you'll find stuff between her and someone. Even if I wanted to be with her, she just jokes around with me. There's a guy she's actually with." I ask her what he's talking about, and she says she has no idea. She hands me her phone and says I can go through it now, but she's had ample time to delete whatever she wanted. (God this is a long, complex story, and I'm sorry).

At this point, I tell her I'm just done. I'm going to file for the divorce. I've had an attorney on stand by since March, and I'm just done. She begs and pleads, swears there's nothing with this guy from the softball field, that I'm her soulmate and she can't imagine living without me. She wants so desperately to see our grandchildren grow together and enjoy this next phase of life as our kids all grow up and move on (and we would be a young empty nester couple because we started so young, and we've always dreamed about those days of child-free 40s to just enjoy one another and travel and be young grandparents). Then she tells me she will not live without me, and makes very credible suicide threats. It could well be manipulation, stopping me from leaving. And I believe in some sense it was, but I also don't know that it's merely that. I didn't know what to do. I called the police. We had her taken to a hospital, and now she's been committed to a mental health unit by order of a psychiatrist. She's been in there and will be for a few more days. I've talked to her on the phone since then, and found out that for the past 5 years (about the time everything started going very very south in our marriage and her personality), she's been abusing adderrall. I've known she took it,but had no idea how incredibly high the dosages were or how much she was taking it or that she had been crushing it and snorting it to get high. She finally confessed to all that, and she's going through some pretty intense withdrawal in the hospital right now. I've talked to her, and she says right now she finally has a clear mind. This is rock bottom. Yesterday was our youngest son's (her baby, the mama's boy of all mama's boys) birthday. Today is our oldest son's 18th birthday (busy winters around here with all these october babies). She's missing them both in a mental health unit. She's finally being confronted with the fact that she's out of control with this drug addiction. She always felt like she had it under control, even though she knew she didn't feel like herself and had wanted to be clean for a long time, and never quite could because every time she tried to get clean she'd become so unproductive that she felt like she wasn't able to even be a mother or go to work without the drug. She swears this is rock bottom. No more secrets. She just desperately needs another chance. But the problem is that I've heard all that before, and I thought rock bottom was back in March, adn there's one last twist that I found out about last night, and not from her even after she was in the hospital crying about being at rock bottom and wanting to be open and drop all the secrets she's been carrying.

She's been talking to the original affair partner this entire time that we've been "reconciling". I never ever saw that coming. She had me convinced he was gone. She's been so emphatic in that. She had his number blocked, and I'd check to make sure it was still blocked and every time it was spot checked, he was still blocked. Instagram. She'd never used instagram in the past. She had it, but never really liked it. So that was how they communicated because she knew I'd check facebook messenger and snapchat (that only has our children on it as contacts and the affair partner is blocked as a condition of her keeping that due to some weird ways her and our daughters use it to communicate). But I never knew to check instagram, and with "vanish mode" it's a cheater's paradise. I found out because I decided I was tired of keeping her secrets like I had since March. Our kids kind of knew because they'd hear us argue, but we didn't explicitly tell them things. They knew the AP's name. They knew there was something. But this time when I came home I just directly told our oldest 3 about me catching the sexting with the dad at the ballfield and how I think I'm filing for divorce and she's in the hospital. At that point my oldest daughter says,"Dad, I wanted so badly just to stay out of everything, but I love you and you need to know Mom still text's AP). That blindsided me. She had photo evidence. She had confronted her mom about it and said, I know you're not supposed to be talking to him, and WW just lied to our daughter and said she was going through and deleting stuff and that's why his name was pulled up. My daughter didn't believe her, so she took a live photo one day of her instagram chatting him over her shoulder, and once I told them what was going on, she gave me that with the timestamps. Then my other daughter, younger, speaks up and says, "yeah she talks to him all the time, I didn't realize they weren't supposed to be talking."

I asked my wife about this while she was in the hospital, and I felt like I was getting a bit of trickle truth, but eventually she admitted that she'd been talking to him. She said the primary reason right now was because A) He wanted to get a restraining order on me after I went to his house and tried to tell his wife and went to his work (an hour and a half away) and confronted him after a really bad day recently, and she was trying to convince him not to do all that, and B) because he had threatened suicide and said told her how he gave up having kids with his wife for her and gave up a big job promotion moving states away to stay here to be with her and she felt guilty and worried about his mental health (yeah, the irony of him being suicidal and her feeling stuck to stay because of that coupled with what she did to me a couple of days ago is not lost on me at at all). Then she admits that at first, it wasn't that. She kept him unblocked on Messenger at my request early on. I wanted him to be able to reach out, and I wanted to see her show me and prove she'd be faithful when he did. And she says that for a month or so he never did reach out through that one avenue where he wasn't blocked (he was blocked on the phone the whole time). But then he did. And she missed his friendship because during the affair, she had given up everything for him. She didn't even have any girlfriends left to talk about life with, and she was just lonely. Her only person at this point was me, and I was raging still and going through the things BS's go through post D-day, and life was really really hard on her with no friends and worried I'd leave any day (and I did at times say I was, and I was in an ocean of up and down and good days and bad days like I'm sure so many here can relate to). So she responded. And they started just talking as friends again. And she lied PASSIONATELY AND WITH CONVICTION to me all the while that there was no contact with him. And she admitted that they became sexual again, twice. She says at that point the guilt was so great over all the lying that she had to get zombie like high in order to give him what he wanted, and that while she admits that during their affair before she was in fact an enthusiastic sex partner, not just doing it for him, that this time was different. Now she did feel awful, and she had to get incredibly high just to give him robotic, zombie like sex, when all she wanted now was the friendship. She says that did stop after that, and she quickly realized that a friendship wasn't possible. She felt awful, but that's when he started with all the things he had given up and the mental health challenges, and she didn't block him simply because she couldn't live with her conscience if he harmed himself (the fact that he has a WIFE, and she should be his confidant, apparently didn't cross her mind). But there's no way to prove any of this. It's all her word and a bunch of vanish mode instragram messages. She admitted that they met in a parking lot last week and talked for a few minutes, but swears there was no physical contact, not even a hug. She says she does still tell him she loves him in their messages, but it's not the same as before. They don't talk about a future together anymore, and now she's completely willing to go totally no contact. She'll give me whatever I need. She'll delete the social media completely. She's going to get clean and off the drugs, and is in the process of doing that now. She's being set up with mental health professionals and a plan once she gets out. It's going to be different this time. That her last contact with him was in the hospital telling him what happened and where their relationship had led her to, and that she was finally and totally done (again, I've heard all this before). She's committed to doing whatever it takes to prove that she can be the wife she once was, and we can have that future we always dreamed of, and that I'm enough and she wants only me (heard it all before). This is, according to her, a true final rock bottom (heard that before too). This time she's getting clean off the drugs (I haven't ever heard that one).

I just don't know what to do. I don't know how to view everything. In some way it's cathartic just to write it out. And I've left out a lot of details, even as detailed and transparent as I've tried to be in this post. It's a book to write just this much, and if you read this far with me, thank you. I'm open to people's thoughts and opinions, as I'm just in no man's land of not knowing what to do. I know in a perfect world, for my own sake, if I could have everything I ever dreamed of, I want my faithful wife who used to exist. I'm just not sure that person exists any more or ever can again, and even if she can how I could ever trust that she is being true. And I don't want to live like this. If she can't be faithful, I feel like somewhere out there is a new life, and there are women out there who would love to be faithful to a man who's faithful and loyal to them (probably many BW's on here feel that way). And if I can't have my wife, then the next best thing is to cut my losses and try to one day find that with someone new. I want to and feel like I deserve to be someone's "guy, one and only, that dude for her" and be able to safely give that same level of loyalty to another imperfect, but faithful woman. Thank you for reading. I apologize for the book. I won't do this level of writing again, but I felt like it was necessary for the story to make any sense.

44 comments posted: Monday, October 10th, 2022

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