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For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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Sillyshiloh posted 8/14/2014 00:14 AM

I found out exactly 3 months ago that my husband had an affair with someone 11 years ago when I discovered some emails from her dating back to 2003. They never knew one another prior to meeting at an open house at his work although they had lived in the same small city and had friends in common growing up. She took his business card and proceeded to email him at work and started flirting......he informed me that she was very complimentary to him and he responded to her email...at first it was all innocent and then they started to get more personal. He informed me that it was mostly an email relationship...and they only physically met 3 times (during his business trips in the city she lives) first time casual dinner, second time -invite to her apartment when infidelity occurred and third time to let her know that it was a mistake and prevent her from exposing him (because cording to him, he realized that he loved me and knew he made a huge mistake......RIGHT...HE GREW A CONSCIENCE after he slept with her...... I know that he has more than likely downplayed the affair and of course, I am having such a hard time believing him. What kills me is that I am unable to confront the other woman and get closure as she lives in another city and is also somewhat unstable. My counsellor warned me that no good would come from confronting her because she even felt the woman was unstable. I really want to let her know that what she did with my husband was no ok (she knew he was married and had 2 small children). She has NO IDEA that I even know....she continues to travel and enjoy life while I am left here to pick up,the pieces of my shattered marriage. My husband is coping with the emotional roller coaster I'm going through....but some days it is soooo.....hard. Why does she get to live her perfect little life without any consequences!!!!... I know she isn't the one who betrayed our marriage but she was an equal participant in the decision to sleep with my husband....shouldn't she have some consequence? I digress, as you can see....the wound is still fresh. I just want to be happy again.....and at this point that doesn't seem to be attainable :(

crossroads2010 posted 8/14/2014 05:14 AM

SS...It is normal for you to be curious and angry at the OW and to want her to feel your pain, even though she is a stranger to you.

It is normal to want the karma bus to run over her and back up several times.

But ... like you said, she knew what she was doing...her moral compass is NOT the same as yours...there are a lot of OW like that out there. Contact with her would serve no purpose and may even make it worse.

I am 5 years out and at some point she WILL be insignificant to you.

Your energy needs to be directed on YOU...you are early in the healing process. IC should help.

You found emails from that far back! My first question to WH would be why were those emails not deleted long ago?

Sillyshiloh posted 8/14/2014 16:25 PM

Crossroads....thank you for your reply. I am currently seeing a counsellor and am trying to get past it....unfortunately, it is all consuming. I really think it would have been so much easier had the affair happened in the present so that at least I could figure out if my husband really felt guilty about it.....I think I could get over the affair if I knew that he truly felt remorseful. Since it happened 11 years ago, and he has be long over it, I don't think I will ever really know. That is what I struggle most with...yes he betrayed me and hurt me, but I do believe in forgiveness as people are human and make mistakes....however in order for me to fully forgive I need to know that he was truly sorry back then...something I will never be able to reconcile.

Sleepingbeauty posted 8/14/2014 19:10 PM

SS -I have a theory on why you found those emails all those years later. You might not like it. My H had an A seven years before I found out and the ony ay I found out was he admitted it in C. Our MC was so astounded by this she asked other C and they all seemed to think he wanted me to end it.

I didn't. I went to IC and did al the work to try ad overcome this heartbreak. Fast forward four years he has had another A and this time left for the other woman.

If your fwh is truly remorseful and trying to fix things I still say try but if it doesn't seem to you or you feel it in your gut that he is Ii say run and run fast

crossroads2010 posted 8/15/2014 04:44 AM


My H had an A with an old gf 25 years ago. 5 years ago he looked her up and another A began.
I found out about the one 5 years ago through emails he left open (I think he did that intentionally so I would find them). When I confronted him, he confessed about the one 20 years before, so I was dealing with a present A and a past one. Not sure which was hardest.
I had to deal with the present one first...he was still in contact for a while and in the fog. Once in R, I still had to deal with the past betrayal...to me the fact that he did not tell me all those years made it worst. What your H needs to realize is that even though he may have put it way behind him, you are dealing with it now as if it happened yesterday and that ultimately, it has changed a lot of things in YOUR life and your M and that can't be ignored.
I knew most of the people my H knew as teens...he was 20 when we started dating (40 years ago) and I had never even heard her name. The fact that another person that you never even knew existed had such an impact on your life is overwhelming.
Just take baby steps...forgiveness will come ...or not. Don't put the pressure to forgive on yourself. I love my H and we are R pretty well, but I can't say I have forgiven him.

trustedg posted 8/22/2014 16:22 PM

Oh my - a topic I can really identify with. We have been married over 40 years, always had a good relationship; we actually really “like” each other. About 25 years ago I was going through some medical issues and my H and I were not having sex. The OW, a friend of mine, married to his good friend, approached him. He told her he would have sex with her as long as she understood it was just sex and nothing more. He figured he wasn’t “getting any” and it was just sex, not much different than masturbating. She agreed and they met up once or twice a month when I was out of town on business. Eventually, after about a year, he got disgusted with himself and with her and stopped it. He said he felt horrible about it and decided that would never happen again. Says it was the worst mistake of his life.

I am not sure why but either during the A or just after she decided I needed to know, started dropping hints. I didn’t want to believe either one of them would do this so I guess I went into denial. A therapist told me it is common, you don’t want to go there because it will hurt if you confront the issue, you also are afraid of the outcome. I think if I had confronted it at the time I would have left him, no discussion, no questions, just gone.

Life went on, everything was been great. Relationship was good, we continued to be friends with the OW and her spouse (I still didn’t know for sure what happened and tried to bury it). I know OW had cheated on her first husband multiple times and had cheated on her current husband. The OW definitely has issues, I have caught her in a lot of lies, not sure she knows what the truth is. She and her H don’t get along well, always arguing, nagging, tells people he “won’t give me a divorce”. Silly – no one has to “give” someone a divorce, you go get one. She had an A with another of her H’s friends and was caught. I also found out she had come on to another friend and was caught “making out” with a married man at a party. I do believe she would leave her H if anyone else would have her.

A couple of years ago, for some reason, the OW started saying weird things to me about my H. I am pretty sure nothing was going on, not just because he swears it wasn’t, but there was no time or opportunity. I won’t go into details but OW was talking about what a good relationship they had as friends, try to make me feel insecure in my relationship, belittle me, make me doubt the marriage. Saying things you would never say to another woman about her husband.

It finally got to me and I confronted my H, DDay Dec 2012. He fessed up about what had happened 25 yrs ago. It was hard to take even though I kind of knew anyway. I emailed OW, told her I knew and not to contact either of us again. The OW kept breaking the no contact for a bit, at least 6 months, contacting both H and me. I caught her lying about it and when I let her know she was caught she went into a rage. H stopped answering his work phone for a while but she seems to have stopped now.

I went to counseling, it helped a bit. My H has done everything he can to make it work. He offered to attend MC but not sure that is necessary so we didn’t do it. He checks in often, I have access to his computer, phone, email, etc. Of course I know there are many ways to get around that – other email accounts, another cell phone, etc. If someone is going to cheat they will. Since DDay H has become more attentive, more romantic, our sex life is good (although ugly thoughts sometimes creep in), very thoughtful, and for the most part does not get upset when I lose it and get angry all over again (when does that stop??).

So – 25 years from the betrayal, almost 2 years out from DDay, and still trying to deal with the hurt.

I do still love him. I am not sure I will ever completely trust him again. I am not sure I will ever forgive him. One thing I know for sure is I will never forget, and I really wish I could do that.

Sleepingbeauty posted 8/22/2014 16:29 PM

Triustedg- i know dealing with the hurt is hard but it sounds like you and your fws have come a long way. I wish you well and may your m continue to grow and get better

Itstoohard posted 8/22/2014 17:49 PM

Tristedg- almost 2yrs from dd here and A was 24years ago. Still trying to deal. (Hugs)

crossroads2010 posted 8/23/2014 06:04 AM

Trustedg and all....

it is interesting that you remember that you had "clues" and denied them...I wonder if maybe I did the same thing...maybe just suppressed them. I asked H when and why way back then? He really has issues with memory and time frames, but told me how old our oldest child was at the time of the A. I have racked my brain trying to remember if there were clues...any gut feeling I had back then and can't really think of anything that stands out. As I remember during that time we were pretty happy...busy, but happy...????

Sleepingbeauty posted 8/23/2014 07:46 AM

Crossroads- it does happen that there wasn't any clues or as you say you were busy and may have missed them. Also remember WS's are very good at hiding things and pulling the wool over our eyes. Don't beat yourself up for not "seeing". If possible work on the now.

trustedg posted 8/23/2014 08:38 AM

crossroads2010 (and all)
My WS says he has trouble remembering details and I guess he is telling the truth, it was 25 years ago. Perhaps that is good in some respects but it leaves me wondering exactly when and what we were both doing at the time.

I see pictures of us together from that time frame and wonder how he could stand there next to me while lying to me, while doing her on the side. I think of things we did together during that time and wonder how he could do those things with me while deceiving me, while betraying me.

Ugh - hard to get passed all this.

Sillyshiloh posted 8/26/2014 00:30 AM


I know exactly how you feel. I scoured photos of that time frame and read my journal looking for any clue that something was going on...I unlike most of you had NO clue this happened. I was dealing with a lot right around that time and obviously my focus was not on my husband. I look at those photos that depict a happy marriage and feel absolutely betrayed I was the dutiful wife while he was the selfish. I don't know if I will ever get over this.....I'm just taking one day at a time

My H has been very attentive and loving and attended MC ...it isn't pall smooth sailing yet...I doubt it ever will be again. I take each day as it comes and try not to dwell on the thing I cannot change. Still trying to figure out if I can live with his betrayal and the 11 years of lies

crossroads2010 posted 8/26/2014 04:16 AM

11 years of lies

I think the years of keeping it a secret are the worst part of the betrayal. How could he face me all those years after...20 in my case...and not tell me? The OW was not part of our group of friends, but there was a couple that we were friends with...long time friends that must have known. I feel betrayed by them as well.

The time of the A WAS a busy time...we were both working, I was in school, small child, etc., but we were very tuned in with OUR life then also. I don't think I was not paying attention...just never had A on my radar...ever...never imagined he would cheat on me. Back in 80's there were no cell phone, internet social media, etc. Nothing to hit you in the face. If he said he was going fishing I believed him...working late...okay...I'll keep dinner warm. Such trust

Sillyshiloh posted 8/26/2014 08:59 AM


I know exactly how you feel. I never had a clue. At the time we were building a $60,000 addition to our family home. We booked our first vacation without children at the same time this affair happened. We went on that trip 4 months later and had a wonderful time....no idea....no remorse on his part, that I could tell. Heck maybe this was his way of clearing his conscience.....showering me with "gifts" so to speak......but I was so trusting of him and secure in our marriage that it never dawned on me that that was what he was doing. I can see it now to some extent.....in all honesty I think I may have figured something out if it weren't for the fact that I was dealing with my fathers cancer treatments at the time. For many years he has told me he wants to grow old with me and that I am the love of his life and the best thing that ever happened to him. The sad thing is, he keeps telling me that he never stopped loving me. How can I believe this when I keep questioning how, if he truly loved me, he could make a decision 11 years ago to have sex with another woman that he knew would break my heart and destroy the marriage?! THAT is what I struggle with.

trustedg posted 8/27/2014 17:09 PM

Yes - mine was 25 years of lies from by WH. Also 25 yrs of lies from a "friend" (OW).

Sleepingbeauty posted 9/4/2014 07:00 AM

Crossroads- I think the lies is the hardest thing to deal with. When my STBXH had his A there was a lot going on in our life at the time and if there were any clues I missed them. I worked hard to understand and come to grips with the actual A. The lies however ate me up. He says I am a changed person. Well can't guess why. I did manage to start trusting him again and low and behold he started cheating again.

I am not saying all WS's who cheat and keep it a secret for years will cheat again but I think that there is a higher chance of it. I think it is more work to get past an A that was kept secret for years. I do like to hear of thoe that make but I'm afrid the numbers aren't very high.

strongerdaybyday posted 9/4/2014 10:58 AM

I'm new to this forum. H had an affair almost 10 years ago. I think the most insensitive comment I heard was, "it was so long ago - you should get over it." has anyone else heard this or is it me and I'm to sensitive?

crossroads2010 posted 9/4/2014 16:46 PM

"He says I am a changed person."

Thank goodness...although the bliss of complete trust was nice, they are forever gone and a stonger me knows that things can change in one look at an email or text message and I will never be that blindsided again.

H had an A when we were young and starting a family, then again as we were older and kids were grown...how can I ever know he won't do it again.

"it was so long ago - you should get over it."

No one we know, nor our kids and family, knows about the A's, so i have never heard this, but that IS the attitude a lot of people have...they haven't been there. A long time friend of mine and I were talking last weekend and she mentioned an old gf of her H from 35 years ago. Someone asked if it bothered talking about her H old gf and she said no...that was way before me. People think an old A is like an old pre-marriage gf. It IS NOT the same thing. Finding out about an A from 10 days ago or 10 years ago is a betrayal of the marriage/relationship. The difference is that a current A comes with the fog and raw feelings from the WS.

Camalus posted 9/4/2014 17:49 PM

"it was so long ago - you should get over it."

Yes, heard that one along with, "I've spent the last 14 years learning to live with what I've done, I have forgiven myself and God has forgiven me."

Oh, and then there is the infamous "I'm a different person in a different place in my life."

These all seem to be a common refrain from waywards when the betrayed spouse doesn't find out until years have passed.

crossroads2010 posted 9/5/2014 04:38 AM

"I've spent the last 14 years learning to live with what I've done, I have forgiven myself and God has forgiven me."

Man, I will never hear that one....my H learned to live with his A 20 years ago so well that he had another one in 2009!

I'm a different person in a different place in my life.

no....different place, same person....at least in my case. I'm the one who is a changed person.

Sorry for the negativity...H is trying to be better...I think he is truly trying to help us R in his own way...I am a month away from antiversary 5...struggling a little more every day.

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