Thank you for this. It has become a fundamental part of my life for the last 4 weeks since D-Day. This is my first time posting, and writing emotionally is not something I've ever done so if this comes across as rigid, my feelings are anything but. I'm a complete emotional mess. I want to share my story, though it is not very easy for me to write in a way that conveys the shame, remorse, disappointment, guilt, embarrassment, anger - all at myself - that I feel. I'll try to stay factual and honest to start, to keep my sins clear, and see if I can discuss my feelings at the end. Things every WS need to know gets us so far and has been invaluable to me, but I am still searching for more about myself - not just so I can help my BW, but also help myself be better. I've learnt alot, but not enough - and maybe I never will learn enough, but I am determined to go on this journey.
I'm 37. I have been with my BS just under 12 years, and married for 8 with 2 beautiful daughters (11/7). For some context, my wife is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. She identifies herself often by her looks which I think sells herself short because motherhood, her strength, and her heart are her real distinguishing qualities. We had a great marriage with a lot of really tough challenges (this being the most difficult of course) but no one can deny how I got so lucky, and how much we were in love. So what and why did this happened? I can only describe the what right now.
It's 4 weeks since D-Day. 7 months ago I started an affair with a co-worker I had worked with for 3.5 years. During the 6 month affair, I slept with AP numerous times (20-30), sometimes in a parking lot in the back of my car, sometimes (maybe 12) in a hotel near our office, and 4 occasions I went on "work trips" which meant overnights. Although I did have work trips I would lie to my BW about my return date to give myself the extra day. Sick right?
Roughly speaking I would see AP once a week maybe for a drink after work or just to the car park and then home. Maybe 45 minutes a week. We had a secret email that I would use almost daily and I would call AP often to or from my way to work or if I was on work trips. The conversation was as time went on, not very interesting, and often included work stuff, but I kept doing it. I did it as a matter of routine. There wasn't the closeness I shared with my BW over our years together - the dependency we had in our team or at least what I had shared with my BW before the affair started.
There was no end in sight - no realistic end - we had another overnight booked due three weeks after D-day which obviously didn't happen.
I tried once to ignore the AP for a few days, in the hopes she might let me go easily, but she did not. She sent me numerous emails and cursed me out. I was afraid of the consequences of this all blowing up in my face - of my BW finding out. I was a coward to put my own selfish fear above what I was doing to my BW. After the affair started, I knew what I was doing was wrong and I tried not to give it much thought - instead focusing on not letting the secret get out. I chose to ignore what it was doing in relation to my family - I compartmentalized - and just kept going even though I would tell myself I needed to stop this. Often I wasn't able to perform sexually with AP - I wasn't especially drawn to anything other than someone willing to want to be with me. My BW was extremely sexual and I never wanted for anything. I don't want to be mean, but AP was far from the beauty of my BW. I was afraid of delivering bad news to the AP so I would avoid difficult conversations where she might push me for longer term plans. I would hope my lack of commitments would disuade her. How weak is that ? Fear of confrontation, weakness to speak directly, and honesty are all weaknesses I've discovered in the last number of weeks of serious reflection in myself. I'm still trying to coherently assemble my thoughts in a cohesive way to help structure my story - the entire affair - the way I was thinking during the different phases of the affair - and the obvious consequences of what I did. And all the while my poor BW is suffering unimaginable pain from my betrayal.
So I think they are the key facts. Obviously there may be others, and I've tried to share all the relevant facts with my BW so she may know everything and make her decisions based on truth.
So since D-day - lets talk about that. A couple of days before D-day, BW found a pair of glasses in my car. They were APs. Over the course of the next couple of days I drip fed the truth leading up to D-day when I shared a bulk of details, but not the full truth. 3 days later, I finally understood that it was not my right to withhold any details from BW - so I released everything. I told her all the facts. It was a life changing moment. I went from the person that was afraid - an incomplete person to a clean and honest person. the pain was incredible, for me and my BW but it was the truth. And I must start everything with that.
My BW shared some truth with me over the course of the last 4 weeks. I wasn't ready to hear some of it. Alot of it was very painful, but nothing related to the pain I have inflicted on BW and my amazing little girls. My poor girls.
On Dday I spent 2 nights in a hotel. BW was furious, though encouraged me to see the kids and offered a huge amount of compassion from her broken heart. She found some strength through GOD and selflessly shared it with me. I don't deserve this.
Then, somehow her mother and husband supported me and offered to allow me to stay at their house. I stayed there one night. I returned home for a couple of nights and was asked to leave again for another night. I've been back in our home in the guest room since then though many times, I've been asked to leave. As "Things that every WS needs to know" says - be present. BW and I understand the irony that the person (me) who inflicted the damage is the person best placed to support the damaged. It doesn't make it easier and BW is seriously considering removing me from the equation to clear her mind to understand if she really wants a future with me.
We just had a weekend away with the kids and it was good, but today BW spent the day going back over details. She wants all the details, and I've shared everything I can remember - including passwords, (all emails were deleted by me from secret email). Since D Day any contact with AP, I've shared and discussed with BW - though its all incoming. I don't want to get into AP in too much detail, but BW has been in touch with AP directly. Sometimes with compassion from my BW who has tried to see good in people, but mostly from AP trying to damage me as much as possible. But because of my honesty I don't see what she can say or do that BW doesn't know. Of course I've shared with BW that I said many things I shouldn't have such as I love you too, or I miss you. In my mind I was fulfilling a role. But whenever a conversation arose where she asked my plan I would say I have no plan and I was never going to leave my wife and kids. Sounds like I just wanted to keep having sex with this person and getting the best of both worlds - I didn't even enjoy it like I did with BW - but I was a world apart from BW emotionally for the first real time since we met and I knew it wasn't what I wanted. But all the while I kept it going and I'm going slowly mad. The toxic routine had taken over and I was left hoping for some miracle that would remove me from this situation. I didn't take any action other than keep this going ! I'm arguing at home more, I don't even see my BW trying to believe me and trust me even though she knows better. She wants so much for this not to be true and I think have everyone fooled - but mostly I have myself fooled. I'm the fool.
I spent my life building up to some professional success and we had finally found our forever home and were on the path we always wanted with mature fun friends, a stable home, in a great school district and my new important job giving us the promise of a great future. Everything we wanted... right? My BW made huge strides in her personal life dealing with various issues, and though it was tough, she always always told me how much she loved me and how she admired me. She identified herself as my wife which showed the pride she had in me. She now feels so silly and embarrassed for being such a faithful loving and proud wife. thank God her friends have supported her the way they have. This site has given her some advice that moves me down the ladder toward R which is fair, and some that has helped her. I saw something about regret and remorse. I seriously examined the difference beyond what I knew before. I feel I have remorse - I am appalled at my actions, I'm devastated I caused such hurt to my closest loved ones by being SO UTTERLY SELFISH, I wish it never happened obviously, and I want to do everything I can to help support the people I've damaged. i realize btw that I have spoken mostly from a personal perspective - this is because I believe it is me, and me alone is responsible for this A. Not my BW, not the AP, and not our relationship. Sure I've fished in all of those pools searching for reasons, but I've had to throw back those fish because they don't get to the heart of my issues.
Anyway, after D-day - we had the talk on honesty -and that has been a cornerstone of my self discovery. About 4 days later, my BW who knows me better than anyone wrote me a letter. A deep letter examining the Why's and the how's. She offered me insight about myself I wouldn't get with a year's therapy (no offense therapists). Many of my weaknesses she was able to draw correlations to my life - how I was raised, trauma's I've endured, lack of coping mechanisms. I've tried to take them on and dig deeper. I have a long way to go. I wish with all my heart my wife and kids will be waiting for me at the end of the journey - maybe there is no end in self discovery, but I hope they'll be my companions to a better a life together.
I've so much more to write. So much about my life, my self examination. So much about the healing process, and the support for my BW. I have had huge struggles professionally and obviously with BW. BW has been dating others already - she has been honest with me but it has torn me up inside but I have to accept it and accept the pain I deserve. Maybe I'll expand on this another night, but tonight I think I'll stop here. I appreciate any thoughts or support you can offer - especially if this is relatable to you.
[This message edited by TrustBreaker at 10:49 PM, May 28th (Monday)]