The various shades of reconciliation
It's been awhile since I've posted anything. My story has a history of false reconciliation. As far as I know my WW hasn't communicated with the AP in a few years. It's true the thoughts and mind videos fade over time. For me though, I don't think I'll ever really have any significant trust for my WW wife. We get along and are doing a good job co-parenting, but as time goes by I just continue to think she's a crappy person. I know people do things that are crappy when they are in the affair fog, but that doesn't mean it's not part of who they are in general. It's not an excuse.
when I first entered into reconciliation it was with the intent of genuinely rebuilding the relationship into something new. I imagined that would be something with less trust, but with a renewed bond. What I find myself in is a co-parenting relationship I will likely exit from one the kids are gone. I know there's a lot of schools of thought on staying for the kids. I've weighed the pros and cons for my specific situation with an emphasis on what's in the children's best interest and I've landed on staying married. There are some deal breakers that would force an exit of the marriage like me finding out she's resumed her affair. That seems a little hypocritical of me considering my position, but that's where I am.
Recently I found a new instance of my wife lying. My WW's affair was with co-worker. He lives in another state. She had gone to visit him and his wife to run race. It turned out the wife was out of town that weekend. There was one night where my WW and the AP had alone and had sex. The other two nights another female co-worker was there for the race. Yes, I've considered the possibility of a threesome, but never found evidence of it. The female co-worker was someone my wife knew, but wasn't really friends with. I haven't uncovered much communication between my WW and her before or after the race. The female co-worker was/is pretty close with the AP. She's married and I suspect her and the AP have something going on.
This woman had texted my wife in June saying "WW, is this still your number? Today is AP's birthday!!! I bet you knew that!!! Hope you are solid my friend!!!". My wife deleted the text without responding. Our agreement was that anytime anyone communicated with her and mentioned him, she would tell me. She just hid it. If she's willing to hide that, then she's still willing to hide a whole bunch more is my stance. And, I thought the word "solid" was a strange choice of words. To me it like saying, "I hope you are still keeping the secret." Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.
9 comments posted: Saturday, September 16th, 2023
Hyper vigilance returns
Here is my original post in case anyone is interested. https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/654264/fooled-again/?HL=79152&ap=1
So, my WW and I seemed to be moving forward in a positive way. However, in the last 30 days I have reverted back to an earlier phase of this journey. I’m back to totally not believing her story and see an increase in my hyper vigilance. I’m investigating actively. There are parts of her story that don’t make sense to me. Unfortunately, in the past, when I’ve felt this way, I ended up being right. I don’t think it’s likely she’s active with the AP, I just think she left some big details out of the timeline. I went back and read my earlier posts on the just found out forum and I think I’ve let her minimize and omit important details. More or less I’ve been feeling gradually better since d day in July 2021, but now I feel like I’m back to square one when this all began. I can’t put my finger on what triggered this. I’ve been experiencing an increase in nightmares related to the affair and have been withdrawing from my wife. I’m convinced there are more big details that have been withheld. I don’t really care about the details since what I know is painful enough, I just can’t see moving forward with reconciliation if she is still knowingly lying. I guess I’m posting here to see if this is normal for people going through reconciliation, if anyone else has experienced this. I really think I’m picking up on little things that let me know some level I need to be on alert and digging.
16 comments posted: Wednesday, April 6th, 2022
Denial as to the why of the affair
I'm not sure if this belongs in this forum or if I should have posted it on my thread on Just found Out. Reconciliation feels more appropriate. I'm experiencing something I'm guessing many others have and just wanted to get some insights from others. It's bee difficult finally getting from my wife many of the details that were once guarded secrets. I always suspected there's more that she's holding back, but for months now she has been answering questions where in the past she was avoiding them or playing the "I don't remember" game. I think it finally dawned on her how damaging the trickle truth approach can be.
I've been asking hundreds of questions which all focus on the who, what, when, and where. I didn't want to get into the why because I was afraid I would get excuses and blame shifting. As I've started to ask why questions, something happened I didn't expect. I realized I've been in deep denial regarding the why, and now I realize that many of you gently suggested that in the past. I was looking for the "why" I wanted to believe. That was that the AP was an evil sorcerer that somehow cast a spell on my wife to make her make all the decisions that hurt me. I was looking for evidence to back that up, how did he manipulate her, how did he trick her. I was looking for anything that would allow my previous view of my wife as a loyal faithful partner to still be in tact.
To give her a little credit, I wouldn't have realized my denial if she hadn't decided to give me real answers even if it tapped into her shame. She lied to me because she wanted to. She had sex with him because she wanted to. She continued communicating with him through our false reconciliation because she wanted to. She did it on purpose with full knowledge of how it would impact me emotionally and how it would impact our family. There was no spell, she decided to lie. Before this epiphany I was assigning the AP 80% of the blame and her 20% of the blame. Now it's 50/50.
The result has been a steep decline in my desire to take revenge on the AP and an increase in anger towards my wife. Whatever rationalizations she told herself, she hurt me on purpose and knowingly and just didn't care. In recent months we've been showing affection, having sex, cuddling and all that good stuff. Obviously it hasn't been all feel good stuff, but it's been mixed in. Now that I'm giving her full credit for her decisions, I don't want to do any of that stuff with her. I've closed myself off emotionally, I won't hug her, give her good night kisses... I even asked her to not sleep in the marital bed for a couple nights. I'm withdrawing and she can see it. Her response has been wanting to talk, wanting to hold hands and co-reregulate, redoubling her efforts and reading affair recovery books and articles. She said I could withdrawal as long as I needed to and she would just keep working on us and would not give up regardless of how long I withdrawal.
I've actually been waiting for her to reach the point where she says F it. Thinking her efforts at reconciliation are as empty as they've been in the past and the eventually she will break and her true feelings will come out. So far I've been surprised how willing she is to dive into her shame pit to answer questions. In a sick way it's been an indicator to me of her feelings toward me and her desire to save the marriage.
Knowing that she wasn't under a spell makes me want to not try or give any effort to the recovery process. I don't have any evidence of her being a serial cheater, but I can't get past the feeling that if she did this to me this time, it will happen again. And I'm tired, and don't want to put a ton of emotional energy into it right now. Any thoughts or insights on this place I find myself in would be appreciated.
16 comments posted: Thursday, January 27th, 2022
I initially posted this on the reconciliation forum, but over a few days I realized I’m a just found outer again.
My wife and I are about two years post affair discovery. Here's the brief back story.
Wife had a EA with her former boss. It had likely been going on for years before it hit my radar. We were friends with him and his wife and did couple things together from time to time, but my wife and him starting to run together and that's when it started. In hind sight I feel a little stupid not picking up on it much sooner than I did, but I completely trusted my wife and believed she was telling me the truth. It was a deep trust, which wasn't typical for me with previous partners.
Their relationship started to bother me but I kept it to myself. I didn't even know about the concept of an EA at that time. Around the time it started bothering me we decided to move out of state across the country to be closer to family and for a better place to raise our young children. I felt better about the situation because they would not be working or running together. Again at this point I was worried only about a PA with no concept of a EA.
After we moved they continued to message each other and talk on the phone from time to time. I was ok with that only because I thought it was accruing a lot less than it actually was. Fast forward a couple years and we are in marriage counseling. The reason for the counseling was we were having a recurring argument about her not living up to her end of the agreement to resume working after the kids were in school. During the counseling she brought up that she missed her old friends, she listed female friends, but also listed her old boss. She said there was a half marathon coming up in his town and she wanted to go run it with him and his wife. I agreed, we resolved the before mentioned argument and that was that.
She flies out there for the race and I call her the first night. Turns out his wife was not in town, but was out of town on work for a last minute project she had to take care of. My wife knew about her not being there prior to going, but never told me about it. I started to dig that weekend. Everything you would expect to find. Phone calls well in excess of what I knew about. Tests at all time of the day and night.
When she came home I confronted her with the phone calls and asked if they were having a PA. She denied it, just friends, im being controlling and paranoid. Classic playbook stuff. This was the beginning of a year and a half of hell which I could have saved myself from if I had been more educated about affairs and how they work. Deleted messages, no contact agreements broken, gas lighting, a couple marriage counselors. I became an expert affair investigator or as close as you can get. I work professionally investigating child abuse cases, so I had a lot of tools in my tool bag to work with. Every time she went underground deeper I followed and uncovered the deceit. Confronted her and she would get mad that I had spied on her. I never uncovered any evidence of a PA, although I've always suspected it. I found a lot of information though and feel like there would have been some indication. I think she rationalized them being just friends because there was not a PA.
Eventually I figured out I was just pursuing her and trying to control what she did. I looked at the unhappy person who spent the majority of my day thinking about it or spying and I said enough. I told her I was filing for divorce. I didn't say I was filing unless she did something, I just said I was.
We decided give marriage counseling one more shot. My counselor made a recommendation and hit a home run. This new counselor was great. In counseling my wife refused to characterize her relationship as an emotional affair, just friends. During that session I asked my wife if she had communicated with him recently and she said no. I took a pile of email printouts dated from the last week between her and he man and handed it to the counselor. The emails weren't damming except they proved she was actively lying to me and the counselor. The counselor confronted her somewhat aggressively. She said the man was aware of his impact on the marriage and if he were truly just a friend he would back off not have secret phone calls and emails. That visit ended with the counselor telling my wife there was nothing she could do for us unless my wife accepted it was an affair and wanted to focus on the marriage. We stopped counseling.
That's where I made my next mistake. I had met with an attorney and was starting the process of divorce. I started to have conversations about division of assets. Turned out she thought I was going to go live in a shack and she would stay in the family home and live life as normal. I spelled out the financial situation to her and she started to do the math. Crap, all the sudden her affair was going to cost her something because my pain didn't seem to have any cost to her. She came to me in the month following and said she chose me and wanted our marriage to be rebuilt. She agreed to the NC (again)and to let me see her devices any time I wanted. The thing is, I had to fight her on that even. In reading other posts I see the best cases are ones where the betraying spouse in proactive about wanting to rebuild trust out of a feeling of remorse. She reluctantly agreed to the bare minimum. I should have realized in the moment how empty those agreements were for us.
Since then things have actually felt pretty good. Sex is good, time together seems meaningful. I had initially asked to see her devices a couple time and she complied. I eventually decided to resist asking her to see devices. If she was going to cheat again I couldn't stop that and I knew that if she started up again I would figure it out eventually even without spying. I didn't want to live a life being a full time investigator at home.
2 years since I discovered the EA and I started to get that nagging feeling. She was visiting my mother with the kids in California. I couldn't go because of work. I messaged her and asked for the login information for her work computer. Keep in mind it had been a good 9 months since I asked to see anything and maybe 4 times total since she agreed to let me see them. She went into a dialog about how me asking has triggered her and made her feel controlled... She said she wanted to be with me when I looked at it, which was a week away. I figured since she didn't have possession of the laptop it was secure. I figured I could wait a week. What I didn't expect is the emotional creep that's occurred during that week. I feel like I did during the bad times. She's home now, I haven't seen the computer. I asked for permission to hold onto the computer until she was ready for us to look at it. I didn't want her to be able to do clean up. I'm assuming she has accessed the work email remotely since it's strange she hasn't wanted to attend to work emails.
I don't want to go through the dance again, but I don't want to jump straight to divorce without new evidence. My thought is to start the 180 treatment and begin moving on. If she approaches me to reconcile I won't do it unless she is taking proactive steps, basically chasing me.
Please don't speculate on if there was a PA. I've gone round and round with that one and in my case I feel that the EA component was much more damaging than a PA. I've been tested and include it as part of my regular physical each year.
[This message edited by Legatus at 11:10 AM, July 23rd (Friday)]
462 comments posted: Sunday, July 25th, 2021