Newest Member: Rony


Just coworkers - aftermath


Many of you might remember to my original topic (Just coworkers -, in which we've discussed my story of getting cold-heartedly cheated on and betrayed by my STBXW. I just wanted to give you an update to that story and possibly focusing on the important life lessons I learnt so that my next relationship could be potentially more open, honest and more stable by noticing the obvious red flags earlier and handle infidelity much more efficiently.

Just to summarize: I was a newbie, a total beginner in this infidelity game. I never in my life could have imagined that my loved one, my STBXW could betray me and our family of three bright and beautiful young daughters. That she could remorselessly lie and cheat on me in cheap motels and apartments and then come home as nothing happened and act like as everything was alright and cause me a real emotional trauma and betrayal PTSD at the end. I made - despite all the warnings that you gave - the most classic mistakes, like doing the pick-me-dance to please her and win her back, smoking hopium all the time to 'save' the marriage 'for the kids'. None of that worked, actually it made things way worse to be honest.

While I was trying everything humanly possible to convince her that our family was at stake, our way of life was in danger by her actions, that she was going to traumatize the kids with a potential divorce, she did not care about anything. She basically kept on cheating on me, ignored me, refused to go the therapy, instead started a new diet and worked out way more and basically cut all communications with me. But interestingly she did not move out. She stayed in our house and at the same time she reduced her financial contributions to the household to an absolute minimum (way below 50%, more like 15%) which she defended by her lower salary. She never asked about how I feel about this situation in general, she just used our house as a safe harbor where she can eat-sleep and play with the children as nothing happened and then go to work. It was horrifying to experience this lack of empathy, coldness and cruelty by her. As if I did not exist, she treated me like nothing, like a somebody who runs the household, takes care of the children, pays the bills and makes sure our family functions at least on some bizarre way. She never thanked me that despite what happened I kept our family together.

The turning point for me, was when my children asked me about who was going to watch over them today, will be there any dinner tonight, what were they going to do tomorrow with me or with their mom. I saw desperate uncertainty in their eyes... Which I cannot forget to be honest. Which I knew I should stop because the situation hurts the children every minute. That moment I decided I will make the bold step and finally file for divorce. That sadness and frustration in my children's eyes was the last drop for me. It broke my heart actually. Then I suddenly realized I have to quit thinking of salvaging this marriage, quit living together with my selfish cheater wife and go on with the divorce as soon as possible and also, that she is not essential at all to my life anymore, but the my children and my wellbeing is what really counts.

So I started the divorce, we could - after a long battle - reach an agreement. We will have a shared custody, she will move out and buy a new house I will even help her in this, assets will be distributed to her a bit more, but the price she pays is that I won't have to pay any alimony and child support at all, only the common costs about children will be shared equally.

So my long story will end in a divorce. I've learned the following lessons I'd like to share with you:

- Don't do any pick me dance. Don't try to convince your WS to save the marriage/relationship.

- They should show true remorse, not just regret. This is essential for any reconciliation. (TBH I did not even see any regret on her).

- Don't stay for the kids. Yes, divorce will change them, but seeing their parents not talking to each other, experiencing the instability and uncertainty and the lack of love is WAY MORE damaging.

- Accept the fact the if somebody has cheated on you maybe more than once, it was a decision, not a mistake. They decided to betray you, lie to you and backstab you. How can you be with someone who purposefully did that to you? You will never forget that. Never. There is no excuse for this.

- If they continue doing the cheating behind your back, after you caught them, it is over. No more words and explanations needed. It shows total lack of love and respect. You will never win these back.

Yes, it took me 5 months to realize the above things. I was like under a spell, a false emotional attachment or bonding to someone who could not care less about me and the marriage and kid's future. Time to divorce and move on.

4 comments posted: Monday, September 4th, 2023

Just coworkers

Words cannot express the sadness, the disappointment and the confusion I feel now.
My wife (40) and me (47) have been married for 16 years. We have children of 5, 8, 11 years old, all girls.
My wife - after spending a lot of time at home with children, - recently got a new, full time job (6 months ago).
I told her I fully supported her in everything. Being at home, full time in my job, I told her I could take care of the logistics of the children, I did all the cleaning, cooking and teaching of the children.
I provided her with a clean and peaceful home every day so that she could focus fully on her new career.
I loved her and it was natural for me to support her even if I had to make some compromises in my job and constantly rescheduling meetings. For me, it was worth the effort.
In January, she started to behave a bit strangely, she admitted that her coworkers were now also her friends.
Coworkers of opposite sex of course. It was strange for me that time, and to be honest I felt a bit uneasy, but I convinced myself there was nothing in this and I might be too jealous.
She also told me we changed a lot, she was a bit unsure about herself and needed some space, maybe some new hobby... yes, it is possible for a mother who spent 10 years at home and doing some part time jobs, that a new world had just opened with the new job and she wanted some freedom. Ok I got it. I told her I supported her, if she wanted a bit more fresh air not only the family and the kids all the time.
But what I noticed was that, after she came home from her work she started to lock herself into the bathroom
with her company phone. This was clearly a red flag, because I don't think after 8hrs of hard work anybody wants to browse company stuff and news instead of relaxing and be with the family. Turned out she was chatting with coworker(s). I told her to stop this, because everybody in the family waited for her all day and it was not expected that she continues focusing on company stuff and coworkers after she arrived at home. She agreed to stop these activities.
Then, one day in February at 7pm she was not at home which was odd, because she had an 8hr job and children started to ask where mommy was.
We have an apple family share so that we know where each of the family members are, so I checked her position.
She was in the city but in a location that she never told me about before. (her job is the visit properties, so it could be explained as an official business). Oddly she was near a hotel... but the location was not 100% accurate so I could not tell for sure. But something clicked me that moment that oops a possible affair was happening? I simply could not believe it (that time).
I called her. I asked her why was she at the specific location at 7pm while everybody is waiting for her for dinner. She was a bit surprised by the call and the fact I knew where she was. She promised to come home as soon as possible.
The very next day she checked out of apple family sharing saying I was too controlling and she did want me to know her location all the time, it was suffocating for her.
(I never ever checked her location before). She then reinstalled her iPhone, changed passwords.
She also told me that since we had a common bank account I could see all the transactions and she needed some cash... in case of buying some gifts etc. (yeah, looking back... this was absurd and a huge red flag).
At home she became distant and cold. She stopped initiating anything.
So three things happened at the same time. (1) Sudden new friends, needs space and new hobby, (2) Disconnecting from apple sharing to know her location + sudden need of cash (3) Cold behavior at home. I did not think that three things could happen at the same time without a single root cause. I began to feel strangely... had that gut feeling. Every time I asked was there anything I should know of? "no there is nothing", no third party, I have the problem with myself....
Problem was, that from that moment I could not eat, think and sleep properly. Later in February I initiated many conversations with her asking a lot of questions and specifically if there was a third one (AP) I should know of ...or not....she said (became irritated and angry): "what?? you know me.. I know my boundaries and I can say no!" After a while she suggested me to go therapy because of my overcontrolling behavior...

Gut feeling never went away.... so I started to watch her as a hawk.
One thing she did not take into consideration was that we also had an iPad with her Apple Id. (huge mistake!)
And location sharing is still active, so even though she checked out from family sharing and reinstalled her phone and stopped sharing location with my appleid, on the iPad (signed in with her appleid) I still could follow her every step which I did...

As I was determined to find out the truth for me and for the sake of my family, in March, I started to actively monitoring her location because I felt something was going on. All the signs pointed at one single possibility of a potential affair and only one thing was against them... her denial.
I noticed that during working hours (!) she was at a specific location multiple times a week. Typically from 3-4 pm to 5-6 pm. She made sure she arrived in normal time at home.... The place was a restaurant but also some hotel rooms attached...(!) nothing related to her work.
On D-day, I asked my friend to go to this place and watch. He told me she left the hotel room area with a guy and they both sat in their own car and left. No more evidence I needed. I called the place they told me the rooms are there for even short term stay like 3 hrs.
During her presence her I called her. She did not answer at first try, but answered the second. She was normal, she said, yes they were there, but were investigating a storage location attached because of her work. I called the place they said there was no separate storage location to check.

When my wife returned home I asked about the place, about the hotel rooms and her story. She denied everything.
I asked , was this the first time she was there. She said yes, it was a new place, I said I knew for a fact that she was there at least 3 times in the last two weeks. (lies again). She laughed (!) at me and went into the house.
Later I tried to ask what was going on, please talk and at least after 16 years I might have the right to know the truth. She denied everything saying 'I have nothing to say.'
She showed no remorse, no empathy, nothing. She was irritated by my questions and refused to communicate. I told her if it was truly an affair, I would divorce. Can I have an honest confession? No.
She went to the sleeping room locked the door and went to sleep as nothing happened.
I stayed in the living room devastated, without any explanation or confession. Children cried, they did not understand what was going on. Then put the children to bed and remained in the living room all night and could hardly sleep because of the emotional shock.
Next morning she went to work and did not say a thing, still denying. 'I have nothing to say'.
Later that day I told the children what happened, and mommy and daddy will probably divorce. They cried , they collapsed, did not understand how their world can crash in a single day. They asked what happened. I told them on their level. They did not how to handle this, how the behave with their mommy after this.
Then, later that day, she returned from work. Still had nothing to say. Played with the children, watched Tv, like everything was normal. I stood there watching here , and could not believe her.
After two more days she started to talk. She confessed she was very down emotionally and started to chat with some coworker.... He also has a family.. they both agreed to have these 'motel sessions'. They had sex multiple times (!), they did on purpose and she was surprised that I found this out so quickly. That was not in their plan for sure. We talked about the future of our marriage. I said I was not sure I can forgive this, but we had 3 little kids and I did not want to destroy their world. We might start fresh and go the therapy..
Next morning, my wife approached me and said that she made a huge mistake. She said she would end the affair now 'because it does not lead to anywhere' (maybe she got rejected, the AP won't divorce because of her? who knows..), and agreed to go IC. She said she had emotions... (bad news) and this can take a longer time to really close this in her... I did not know what to say to this. She also said she loves me but not in love with me at the moment.
She is now hesitating to stay with me and do a fresh start or move out completely.

After this, she was on an emotional roller coaster... She confirmed she ended the relationship..(can I believe this?). sometimes she is ok, next day she is down.. she is not over it, clearly.
In the last two days, I am with the children all day when she comes home from work, I am the one (stupid?) to initiate conversation with her.. she seems to be distant, stone walled, tries to avoid me, always be in the other room, be with the kids, then go to her phone or watch TV and fall asleep. Does not seem like an attempt to reconcile or show me her empathy for the emotional damage she caused me. Or at least an attempt to ease my pain or support me by doing some small there a true remorse? or is she just irritated by the fact they I busted her and her activity was revealed? Can she be that selfish?

Then today she told me we should go together somewhere during the a family.. how I should I interpret this.. very confusing for me. she seems to be uncertain, but still showing me now real emotions or gestures.

I don't know what to do. I know for a fact, then she cheated me multiple times, on purpose, betrayed me, lied about it, gaslighted me, laughed into my face when confronted and I don't feel she has true remorse. Seems like the only thing she cares about now is the potential negative consequences of her actions. Not me. Me and my emotions and the damage she caused is in her picture at all?

Should I do more gestures to her, initiate conversations, still believe this can be fixed if we go a fresh start?
Or the level of betrayal is so deep, the marriage is not fixable? As you could feel I still love her, trying (desperately?) save my marriage and the kids.. totally confused.

222 comments posted: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

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