Wife had an Emotional Affair Online
Hello all. I am new to these forums and never thought I would be in the situation that I am in today.
I (38) have been with my wife (38) for over 15 years. We have been married for 6, going on 7 years. We have no children. Before I go onto the details, I think it should be important to note some of the background history of our relationship.
We met back in college and were each others first long term relationship. Through the ups and downs of our dating period, we managed to make it work and started our career path. We both worked in the same city so staying in contact everyday was not a problem.
She did have issues with her father. Nothing physically abusive, but he was very strict. When she was a working professional, she stayed at home with her family. She had friends and would go out at the weekends with them, but her father would gaslight her if she came home after 12:00AM. He would say things like, "You can do whatever and go wherever you would like." but would be immediately be met with gaslighting/strict lectures if she came home late. Mind you she was over 21 y/o at this point.
While this is not healthy to let your daughter live the way she was, their family did have a hard life growing up. Her father owned a business when she was young which went bankrupt, so they moved to his home country (not stating for anonymity purposes) so they can start over. They lived in poverty for years while her father worked, went out on business trips for weeks/months at a time to make ends meet. Her mother also did not help and was a SAHM. She would constantly yell at her father about making more money and why they can't live in a better place. Her father would always go to her room afterwards and cry while she comforted him. It's something heartbreaking to do when you are still a child/going into the teens. Something ended up happening where her brother made headline news. He was only a young teen, so he was let off easy. In order to escape the reporters and humiliation her family endured, her family decided to move back to the city where we are at right now.
Life wasn't easy since it was now over 10 years since they were back in the country. Her father had an outdated degree so he decided to day trade to try to make ends meet. It went well for a while and managed to buy a house with his success in trading, but they did go through hard times. She helped pitch in money to help the family while she was a working professional. Unfortunately, her father did not have insurance and succumbed to heart failure. This was over 10 years ago. She was absolutely heartbroken. Her father, while strict, was the rock/foundation of the family. I comforted her during these times knowing she will have a rocky uphill battle with losing her father. All this time, even with his strict upbringing, she had nothing but positive/great things to say about her father.
As noted before, our relationship had our ups and downs, but they were fairly positive in my opinion. We rarely fought, and we did, we made a note to not go to bed angry and would always make up before sleep.
She did break up with me on multiple occasions during our relationship, only to reconcile a week or two later.
After her father passed away, she was depressed. I asked her if she should go to counseling to help her, but she would always refuse. I would talk to her and make sure she was okay and tend to her during this time. Time passes and she started accepting life without her father. The sadness of losing him will always be there, and she would grieve every year during the anniversary of his death.
We moved in together 5 years into our relationship just to make sure that we can cohabit before making the next step. Once we knew we meshed well and had a strong partnership, I asked her to marry me. We prepared for the wedding and were married about a year and a half later after the proposal.
Life I would like to think was amazing. We delayed our honeymoon for a year and a half due to both of us switching jobs and saving up vacation time. We would go to the city where we got married at every year and spend a couple of days there. We would go on yearly/bi-yearly trips just to travel and cross things off the bucket list for both of us.
With the majority of the relationship, we both started to get complacent. I admit I added a bunch of weight from where previously. She always had a hard time making/maintaining friends so she started using social media and taking pictures of food (she is a foodie) as a hobby. She happened to meet some friends there that were in our city so she began going out with them once a week. I was happy for her to finally have "girlfriends" she get close to.
I always wanted kids and at the time so did she. We even named our kids we were planning on. She wanted to have a chance to grow her social media following and have a chance to go out with her new friends so she can "get it out of her system" since her father never let her go out that much. I agreed and stated that we can wait a couple of years to start a family. We were in our early 30's so we still had some time.
Throughout our relationship, we would always say I love you with a kiss prior to leaving for work in the morning and in the evening before going to bed, and throughout the day.
At the time, I was unhappy with my job, so I started looking for new jobs. It just so happens that the president of her company looked at my resume and wanted to bring me on board. We were both skeptical at first (working in the same office, but different teams), but after some talking, decided that it would be worth a shot since this would only be a stepping stone for both of us. We hardly interacted at work and there was another married couple there as well, so it didn't seem awkward for us. This went on for 2 years when I started looking for another job and started talks about starting a family, then the pandemic hit.
With jobs being scarce, we stayed on board and worked from home with the company. In all honesty and looking back at it, we did have fun and made the most of the situation. She played her mobile game and I was playing WoW. We always would make time for each other during this hard time and thought that it was going fine. Or so I thought....
THE DOWNFALL OF THE RELATIONSHIP
Late summer last year, she came back home from work late. She was not satisfied at this work since she felt like it held her back to her full potential. I tried to talk to her and let her know to start looking for new jobs to make her feel more fulfilled, but she just then unloaded years of her work frustration on me and started belittling me out of nowhere. She stated that she wasn't sexually attracted to me since I was overweight and that she wanted to be a little selfish and make her happy for once.
I was taken back since I have not heard this from her before. I do admit I became complacent so I do accept responsibility. I told her, that I will start losing weight and that I will keep it off this time. She was skeptical, but she agreed. I found it weird because literally the next day, she was loving and affectionate again.
As weeks passed, I lost a lot of weight. About 35lbs from when she stated that to me (about 6 weeks). My father began to notice also and complimented me. I felt a natural high and told her about my progress. She said to me, "Well it might not matter". I pressed her why, and she stated, "because I'm not in love with you anymore. I love you, but I'm not in love with you.", "I feel like I settled for you." I was taken back. I didn't know she felt this way. She started to unload all of the little things in our relationship that I did wrong. I admit I'm not a perfect husband, but I loved and cared for her all this time. She asked for a trial separation, but I asked if we can go to counseling first to work on our marriage. She agreed, but only so she can lay all of her cards on the table and try to get the therapists to see it her way to convince me it was over. I told her that's not how marriage counseling works and delayed finding counseling unless she was willing to try to work on the marriage. She relented, but agreed to give it a shot.
During this time, I saw her personality do a complete 180. She was cold and distant towards me, she would belittle me/my weight/my insecurities all this time, and would come up to my desk and constantly remind me that she is not in love with me and wanted a separation. My confidence was shot and my self-esteem was down low. I loved this woman, and she started acting like this! I still present her with love, affection, and understanding. I started reading marriage help books to see what I was doing wrong in the relationship to help her out. Still, the gaslighting, blame shifting, and belittlement was there. I believed she was going through a mid-life crisis and lashing out on the marriage for her unhappiness. Reading up on it, she seems to check mark all of the typical signs of it. I decided to focus on myself and started up Muay Thai as a release. I still was not eating properly and ended up losing an additional 55 lbs up to the holidays.
Weeks would pass and we would be in counseling still. We would have a together session, followed by 3 individual sessions, repeat. She would get more and more distant and cold every week. I mourned her and broke down. One day, I found myself holding my firearm and put it in my mouth with the safety off. I never hit rock bottom as I did that day. I cried like I have never cried before. I will never forget the taste of that gun and how close I was to end it. I made a promise to myself to never be like that again.
I started to notice that the gaslighting and belittlement went away around early October. She was still distant and cold, but at least I would not hear her belittlement anymore. Every time I would bring up our relationship status, she would still state that she felt like the relationship ran its' course and that it was done. This was when I began putting up an emotional wall as well. My 38th bday came and was asking what I wanted. I was completely angry and frustrated. For months she treated my like nothing, not acknowledging my existence, and now she wanted to treat me nice? I broke down in my car on my bday and called my brother-in-law and best friend to talk get it off my chest. I just hated how she could be so nice one day and the rest of the time be so cold. I can honestly say it was the worst bday I have ever had.
One of her biggest complaints was that I never held a huge party for her for her bday (which was a month after mine). Again, this was the first time I heard her say she wanted this. Every year I asked what she wanted and she always wanted a small dinner with family and call it an early night. I decided to do something nice for her bday and got her a nice dinner at home from one of our favorite restaurants (due to COVID), and surprised her with a cake from one of her favorite bakeries along with a zoom call with all of her friends and family. Once we sang happy bday, I asked the family to leave the call so she can celebrate and talk with all of her closest girlfriends. I gave her present to her and left the house so she can chat. During my drive, I broke down asking why I was going out of my way to be so nice for someone who doesn't even know I exist. I came home to find her on the couch. She never said thank you for the surprise. I had to wait until the following day to get that from her. I gave her one last present, a jade charm (a special charm her father gave to her that broke, I found a replacement. Her father's charm meant a lot to her). When I gave her the present, her first reaction was, "Why are you doing all of this?" followed by anger before going to bed. I was done at this point. I cannot go on like this.
I figured that since it was close to the holidays, we can have one last holiday together with family before we split. I felt that this was the best way so we can be amicable and start a new life without each other.
After the holidays came and went and about a couple of weeks after the new year, we had one last joint counseling session. That's when I told her that I agreed and that we should split. She became emotional knowing this was for the best and she even admitted she was going through a mid-life crisis. She stated that she didn't want to live life with regrets so she wanted to go out and try to make it by herself. She also started cursing out her father. This was the first time I heard her say something negative about her father. We agreed that we should start looking for another jobs and fixing up the place and put it up for sale before we separate. We were going to tell our respective families when we got things in order (timeframe of about April/May to get our finances in order). Then that's when my suspicions came to light.....
I always suspected she might have been having an affair of some kind (most likely emotional since we work together). She changed the password on her phone, always guarded it, facing it down when I was in the room. She became more involved in her online mobile game and started talking to people via discord sometime early summer. I started noticing this change in behavior after she stopped with the insults. Waking up in the middle of the night to text, she seemed happier than normal despite our circumstances, and she would go for "coffee" only to come back an hour or two later. One time she went for coffee late December and was out for over an hour, I didn't pay it any mind since she may have been shopping for gifts. I decided to go to a local store near me where the coffee shop was. I saw her car parked at the next parking lot over and she was in her car texting. I grew more and more suspicious. I was looking at her internet history after the holidays and notice she frequented a reddit sub called "cubs and cougars", "ex no contact", and "dating advice". She would google search things about a relationship, heartbreak, and meaning of when a guy says something. I knew that she most likely was, but I didn't have a smoking gun. I wanted to confirm before I confront her.
I did end up finding it. Cheaters are clumsy and she left her discord up on her computer before she left to go grocery shopping. She was having an online affair with someone that she was playing her mobile game with. It hit me like a ton of bricks. At that point I became absolutely numb towards her. She would state things like, "I have ever felt so connected to someone like him", "She wished that they would give it a shot after the divorce is final", she wanted to visit him to see where it would lead, talking to her other friends online about going no contact with him after their "break-up", and how he couldn't wait to make her "his" and their first date together.
Apparently they had a relationship starting October, only to go down hill the next couple of months and them breaking up after the new year.
I confronted her the same day (3 weeks ago) and lit her up. All of the months she lied to me, blamed me, used me as an emotional punching bag. She said that he was 10 years younger than her and that he lived in California and they sexted (yes pictures included). I told her I deserved better than her and left the house to drive around a couple of hours. I was absolutely disgusted by her actions. I came back and was just completely numb. I didn't talk to her the rest of the night. By this time she was already sleeping in the other room. She tried playing victim the next day and said she was scared for her life since I had a firearm at the house and that I might use it on her. Again, another tactic she used to make it look like I'm a bad guy. I got rid of it and give it to my BIL for safe keeping so she can't use that against me.
I didn't talk to her the rest of the week. When the weekend came, I sat her down to talk. She again tried to paint me as a bad guy saying I "hacked" into her accounts and she felt "violated". She said that if she didn't make her intentions clear before, she will now and that she wants a divorce. I told her I agreed and that she is a horrible person for putting someone through this. She tried to make excuses stating that she "had no more emotions", but that didn't address the fact that she was hiding it from and and brought that affair into the holidays while it was supposed to be about family.
I am done at this point. She is so deep into the affair fog, that I can hear her sniffling in her room at nights probably mourning her loss of relationship. I suspect that she started talking to him probably sometime during the summer, confided in him more and was friendly before going into the full blown emotional affair. Generally, I am just nice to be around for the time being so we can cohabit and move the divorce process quickly. We both do not want to get lawyers involved and I have started the paperwork for an uncontested divorce and division of assets and property. The only issue is that we work at the same place and are remaining cordial and friendly if we see each other. No one knows at work and I would like to keep it that way until one of us leaves (hopefully soon).
Right now I have no hope nor the willingness for reconciliation if she wants it. Some guy that is states away has seen my STBXW naked and broke it off. The thought of it repulses me and I have been taking it out on the punching bags in Muay Thai and individual counseling. Again, I have been eating less and lost another 10 lbs since then.
I always remember us talking about how much we hate cheaters and how much she hated her mom for having an affair. It seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I also had opportunities in the past when a woman at work would be interested, but I always shut it down if it gets too far and made sure I told my wife about it. She was all I needed and I didn't need anything outside of our relationship.
Thank you for reading my wall of text guys. Advice is welcome, but I really just wanted to get this off my chest.
[This message edited by Talic15 at 11:35 PM, March 21st (Sunday)]
29 comments posted: Friday, March 19th, 2021