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For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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Trying2LoveAgain posted 1/29/2016 16:46 PM

AngelFlower...I am just so glad you are doing better and trying to move on. I can't even begin to imagine the loss of a child, plus infidelity! You will always be in my prayers! You are one strong lady!

I really am doing better than 2 years ago when I found out. But sometimes that anger & resentment rears it's ugly head! I'm learning how to handle it better when it happens.

May you have nothing but peace & happiness the rest of your life!

AngelFlower posted 2/1/2016 13:13 PM

Thank you T2LA. Wishing the very same to you.

Clueless921 posted 3/2/2016 14:24 PM

Wow, thought I was in the minority. I found out about an affair that happened over 30 years ago. How I found out was of a recent email to this person as they are just friends mow. Gag me. I am hurt, angry, and really don't know what to do. It is hard to end 45 years of marriage. There are children, grandchildren in the picture, and I am 62, not exactly in my prime. We are trying to stay together. I know my husband is trying to be a better person. I don't think I can get over this. It is getting easier to see myself starting over as the hurt is just too much.

alj2880 posted 3/5/2016 15:53 PM

Pretty sure I fit in here. I found out last week that my BF of 5 years cheated 3-3.5 years ago, and has a child with her, who is 1 month older than our son. They will be 3 in April/May.

I am just trying to figure out how this goes. In my mind, while our relationship has been amazing - it's all been a lie. Hard pill to swallow.

iamanidiot posted 3/10/2016 08:37 AM

Clueless921 - I thought I was alone. Finding out so late in life and after so many years that your spouse was up to no good so long ago, is just the pits!!!

you have a pretty good life with your spouse, brought up children and tried to instill good morals in them.

And then you found out.

I think I am lucky in that I am reasonably sure that what I was told is as close to the truth as I will ever get. And my spouse became very remorseful after telling me. She struggles to think back to those times and will cry for the hurt she has caused me.

But I wake in the night and look at my spouse next to me whom I have shared so much with and I struggle to accept what she did.

Well done for going to meet with the OW. I think that took a lot of courage. I could never do that - just too much anger and resentment. I had work dealings 3 times with #1 OM before I found out. Right now I steer clear of him. Even at the age of 59 I get that sickening feeling.

I constantly remind myself of the good that is in our lives since the last A ended. I need to reinforce those memories because otherwise I start to remember the bad times and then I spiral out of control because I now know why they were bad times. (like no sex tonight cos I'm tired or that time of month - actually I'm just exhausted because I've been doing it the whole day).

My choices are to live a lonely, angry life OR to accept, shut up, move on, and live the life that I am have become accustomed to for the last 30 years. Yes, I am also not exactly in my prime either. And this is not the way that I expected to live out my declining years.

I am sorry you are here. It is a BIG shock. I wish you strength to get through it. And (((( )))) lots of hugs to you. Please keep posting.

AngelFlower posted 3/11/2016 10:51 AM

Clueless and Ali...hang in there. I think both of you have recent DDays. I have a quote I like that might help both of you:

ďThe way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things donít always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.Ē

-The 11th Doctor (new Dr. Who series)

Yes, an A that wasn't revealed until years later is a bitter pill to swallow. It's bad. And while the good memories don't soften the pain of that revelation, just remember, the bad things don't make the good things you shared unimportant. It just means there is some of both in your life. Isn't that the case with everyone?

Skynet posted 3/15/2016 09:40 AM

As are bad enough.... Ad the lies and the deceptive habits during that time... Especially when we (BS) piece the where was I during all this stuff and the salt just pours into the wound.... Along with the who are you really questions.... You were that then.... How do I know your not that way now??? An affair is a dagger in your heart that is never removed.

AngelFlower posted 3/15/2016 10:51 AM

sky...sorry you find yourself here. I know your DDay is recent. It is hard to reconcile the past with today when you find out a long time after the fact. How are you?

Linteee posted 3/31/2016 09:55 AM

So sorry you are here,I found out on holiday in June 2015 we have been together 50yr married 46 4 children 4 grandchildren.I found out because I asked a direct question (seems stupid now) ti tunes out H had a 3 yr A with my best friend 29 yrs ago thro 2 of my pregnancies ,9 months on I still struggle I don't think k I e had the whole truth and now we do not talk about it.I find d this the hardest because I also feel my life from then on has been a lie so try your hardest to talk it through cause it's killing me and I more and more thing k it will kill us in the end.

Linteee posted 3/31/2016 09:58 AM

So sorry you are here,I found out on holiday in June 2015 we have been together 50yr married 46 4 children 4 grandchildren.I found out because I asked a direct question (seems stupid now) ti tunes out H had a 3 yr A with my best friend 29 yrs ago thro 2 of my pregnancies ,9 months on I still struggle I don't think k I e had the whole truth and now we do not talk about it.I find d this the hardest because I also feel my life from then on has been a lie so try your hardest to talk it through cause it's killing me and I more and more thing k it will kill us in the end.

Diver89 posted 4/19/2016 21:31 PM

Just found out a few weeks ago that my WW had an affair about twelve years ago. With a good friend's husband (and I regarded him as a friend too). Lasted six or seven months, but they were in our marital bed once, in our new house, and the whole thing started several months before she got pregnant and didn't end until several months after she was pregnant. Awesome.

Kyrie posted 4/21/2016 22:55 PM

I seldom post and haven't been in this forum before, but I certainly belong. I appreciate that there are a few of you I can identify with.

I just updated my profile, if you're interested. I found out about my husband's LTA six years after he ended it. That was over four years ago.

I also belong in the LTA forum and the STD forum. Lucky me. But I think this forum is a better fit.

Finding out years later is an unusual experience. It certainly throws us into a different category of surviving infidelity. I don't know about some of you, but I find it particularly hard trying to respond to something that happened a long time ago and that no longer exists.

I sometimes feel like I'm fighting ghosts.

I believe this is what many BS's are struggling with though, this overwhelming need to respond effectively. Something devastating has occurred, a violation has taken place, so I must respond accordingly, right? For some folks, in the immediate aftermath of Dday, the response can take many forms - from sleeping in separate rooms, to confronting the OP, to enforcing the 180, to seeing a lawyer. It's immediate, it's swift, it's meant to strike back. Figuring out how best to respond is a huge part of surviving infidelity, don't you think?

But for me, I really struggle with a response to something that is so far in the past. My husband is not the same person he was 10 years ago when he willfully pursued the OW. He's just not. There have been times when I've wished I could address my husband of 8, 10 years ago. I've actually begged my husband for this - Bring 'em out and let me have a go at him!

There are no texts, emails, no sort of tangible evidence that the affair even happened. In fact, the business and the building the two of them worked in doesn't even exist anymore. I have an STD and a story to go with it. I have fuzzy memories of my husband being an ass for a time, being disconnected and way too involved with his job. I remember things that at the time didn't add up, that were odd. It's all so vague and my memories, well they aren't that reliable, you know?

So what is my response? What is the response that will make me feel like I've stood up for myself, that says

NO, I will not be treated this way . . . you know, that way I was treated 10 years ago . . . even though I'm not being treated that way now . . . but I was! And I won't be treated like that!

Those declarations are empty, they have no force. I feel so powerless. How frustrating it is! I feel like I'm a mad woman raging at the air. Raging at ghosts!

And what complicates this more is that my fWH is just that - former. He has completely turned his life inside out in a courageous effort to understand his behavior, figure out his whys, and start the difficult work of restoring his integrity. He has taken so much sh*t from me in the aftermath of discovery. He's taken it willingly and has fought hard to prove to me that the affair had nothing to do with me and everything to do with his very messed up self. We have a good life. We're weathering this. I want to continue my life with him -- even though I am very hurt and very angry at him.

So I feel this overwhelming compulsion to respond -- to respond in a way that damns the affair, gives me the last word, rights the wrong, that, dare I say, punishes (?). The responses from newly betrayed folks just don't seem to fit my situation. I don't have a clue what a response to this devastation looks like.

For 4 years, my response has been grief. It's been a hard fought attempt to maintain normalcy and a loving environment for my children. I've cried buckets of tears, gone to therapy, journaled, meditated, cussed, kicked and screamed -- but none of that gives me the satisfaction that I've responded in a way that honors me.

And let me tell you, not feeling satisfied in my response fuels my anger and frustration. It keeps the affair alive. A serious injustice has been done and I have suffered greatly because of it. I refuse to live my life as a victim and yet, that's exactly how I feel because my response is nothing more than surviving and grieving.

Do I drive to our old city and confront the OW? Do I put my husband's things in trash bags on the porch and change the locks? Do I berate my husband every day until he dies? None of those are OK with me.

And yet, I feel this need to respond. But what does that look like? I would appreciate hearing what some of you have to say. Thanks

iamanidiot posted 5/3/2016 05:42 AM


What can I say? Ditto, ditto, ditto. You put my thoughts and feelings into words.

I find it particularly hard trying to respond to something that happened a long time ago and that no longer exists. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting ghosts.
I am just so sad. I drove past two of the houses in which she had been unfaithful to me. The places have changed. They houses now are old, tattered and with big fences around them. the inhabitants have moved on. Now just Ghosts to me.
The thoughts, the movies & the pictures, going round & round in my head are terribly hurtful BUT they are from a time long, long ago. How do you even attempt to move on?
I want to continue my life with him -- even though I am very hurt and very angry at him.
Ditto, Exactly. I too am SO PISSED off and angry at her - but that is the 'her' from 30years ago, not the person she is now. That sucks in a way that only another TWFOYL can understand !!
A serious injustice has been done and I have suffered greatly because of it. I refuse to live my life as a victim and yet, my response is nothing more than surviving and grieving.
I want immediate action. I demand instant retribution. But there is no action. I feel like a lion that has had his teeth pulled.
All the time KNOWING what fun they had, the excitement they felt etc. etc. at my expense.

My response has been to accept that it happened, to learn / to know as much as I can, and do my best to move on. My life is important to me! It is the only one I have and my only chance of happiness. I will find a way to make my peace with it all.
((((((hugs to all TWFOYL))))))

iamanidiot posted 5/4/2016 01:44 AM

Kyrie. between the anger and resentment it is great to find someone to share with who can understand. I struggle to move on, I found out 18 months ago, but it happened 30+ years ago.

I remember things that at the time didn't add up, that were odd. It's all so vague and my memories, well they aren't that reliable, you know?

I am not so sure about my memories either. And now a lot of the things I spent a lifetime wondering about all makes sense, terrible sense. SI has helped me to understand the hows, the whys, and how blinded by love we were and how fogged up they were etc, etc, but there is no comfort in that at all.

There is no outlet for my anger and frustration, my sadness. Especially not at someone that changed her life around, and closed the lid on that box that was that part of her life.

What I am learning is that Time is only a healer if it is spent doing the critical work of introspection. Time only helps in healing when it's spent educating oneself about infidelity and the issues that create and sustain it. Time is a healer only if it's used to grieve, to develop habits of self care, and to reconcile the here and now with what's been done. What I am learning is that holding on to an identity of Victim keeps me from using time wisely. It actually keeps me locked in the vortex of betrayal - where nothing is created except pain

Well said!!

Kyrie posted 5/4/2016 10:44 AM

Thanks for responding to my post. I had almost forgotten about it. Seems this forum isnít visited very often. In fact, I finally gave up hearing from anyone and started posting in Long Term Affairs. Thatís another unique experience, too Ė there are people on there with waywards who had 10, 15, even 20-year long affairs. Can you imagine? My Hís 2 year and 8 month affair is devastating to me Ė I cannot fathom something lasting years longer.

A lot has transpired between my H and me since my post in this forum. I think I finally turned a corner. As I said in my post, Iíve been wrestling with this elusive need to respond. Maybe itís because the affair ended 10 years ago this summer or maybe itís because I have finally figured out how to articulate what I need or maybe my husband has finally figured out how to respond Ė or maybe itís a combination of all these things Ė either way, my perspective has shifted considerably.

After one of the most compassionate conversations with my H that Iíve had Ė a conversation that was calm, safe and mutually empathic, I realized that I was ready to set down the struggle, the fight, the resentment. I was ready to let go.

For over four years, Iíve been dragging the affair around like itís some sort of dead body. This heavy burden thatís ugly and senseless, and stinks, that stresses me and puts a strain on my existence has been lugged around by me for years. Itís exhausting. Itís painful. And it serves no purpose.

Something clicked in that conversation as I listened to my H talk about how obsessed, selfish, disconnected he was during his affair. Iíve heard it all before, but this time, my perception shifted. Like you, I thought like this:

All the time KNOWING what fun they had, the excitement they felt etc. etc. at my expense.

I have such a good imagination and I could just see my H enjoying himself, thoughtless of me, making a choice every day to deceive and betray. And to hurt this badly? All I could think was, you did this at my expense. Iím paying the price now for this superficial, meaningless romp you had to have. And for what? An STD? Pain, loss of trust, loss of integrity? Really? So much was trashed in order for you to feel invigorated? What a waste.

But for some reason, I didnít hear it like that. I didnít perceive it that way. Instead of seeing him as the perpetrator of my devastation, I saw him as an individual who was lost in a hell of his own making. His behavior was not at my expense. His behavior was completely separate from me. I think he had internalized me and our children to the point that he didnít even see us as separate people. He was so detached and disconnected from me, so thoughtless, so needy that he never thought that what he was doing was destroying our marriage. What an incredibly f*cked up person he was then.

And there is something about the fact that he canít speak fondly about the OW. He said when he thinks back to that time, heís disgusted, he doesnít recognize himself, and he has no feelings for or about her. He says that he was so disconnected from himself that what they had together was meaningless and stupid. He says that he is truly ashamed and embarrassed and sickened by his behavior and thought process at the time.

Now, Iíve heard all this before. This was not new information. But something in me sensed the threat of it all was starting to slip away. And what was left was compassion. And gratitude. Here, sitting in front of me, is the love of my life. Heís with me now. He is choosing to be with me now Ė and has for nearly 30 years. And he recognizes that he nearly destroyed one of the best things thatís ever happened to him all because he became his very worse self. He was chasing after something he thought was exciting, fun, whatever, not at my expense, but at his own. He never ever thought he was doing something to me or against me Ė because he never thought about me. How could he? He was so self absorbed, chasing after a warped ideal of success, recklessly attempting to fill holes he didn't even know he had.

The story of his affair is one of selfishness, neediness, isolation, disconnection, manipulation, deception, emptiness, and a blind pursuit of something senseless. Yes, I thought, I assumed, I believed that during the affair and all the years since, I was getting all of my H. Truth is, not only was I not getting all of him, neither was he. Now that is sad.

And I can be sad about that. I can and will continue to grieve for what my husband did, for the path he took. I will grieve for him. I am justified in feeling hurt that he ever got so self involved that he took me for granted and disconnected himself from me. But the truth is: all of that is on him. None of it was directed at me. I am not a victim. Yes, his behavior victimized me at the time, but I am no longer a Victim.

And once I realized this, once I understood, all while keeping my emotions in check Ė staying focused on him, not me or my pain Ė I knew that I could forgive him.

And this, I think, is that elusive response Iíve been looking for.

All this time, Iíve been thinking I needed a response that was just as potent, harsh, and hurtful as the crime. Punishment, I guess. And believe me, my temper tantrums over the last four years, have been forms of punishment.

Truth is Iíve been dragging this dead body of the affair around in a misguided attempt to keep my H from believing that what he did was acceptable, that I was somehow OK with it, that it wasnít all that bad. Iíve carried it around in an effort to sustain a false belief that its very presence would be a necessary, constant reminder that what he did was wrong and that he could never take me for granted again. Holding on to the affair, however, was keeping it alive, almost valid, and was distracting me from what ultimately matters most to me: my husband.

So there I am, looking at this man, listening to him tell me what a complete and utter f*ck-up heís been. Heís fully aware that his actions have and will always have a direct impact on me. Heís saying he canít imagine his life without me, that he wants no one else and wants nothing more than to share his life with me. He gets that his actions have caused damage and that for the rest of his life, he'll carry the knowledge of the pain he's inflicted on me.

And I think, what a terrible burden to bear.

Itís not OK, never has been, never will be that he betrayed me. He knows the hurt heís caused. He knows what a fool he was. He knows more about himself now than ever before. He knows what led him to disconnect, to be needy, to be vulnerable. And I know these things, too.

And I can forgive that. And I did.

And the relief, the release of doing so, of responding with such power, bravery, gravity was redemptive. It was the powerful response Iíve been looking for. I canít begin to tell you what itís done for me, for my husband, for our relationship. Redemption is happening for both of us.

Sorry this is so long. Itís been helpful, as usual, to type it out.

Hopefully, this means Iíve taken the gloves off and my fights with ghosts are slowly becoming a thing of the past. I'm not naive enough to think the struggle is over. Grief will always be a part of me in some way, some shape or form.

By the way, iamanidiot, I hope youíll reconsider your user name. You are not an idiot. Your wife was. You are a bystander of your wifeís tragic wreck and you got hurt. You loved and trusted as you should have. There is nothing idiotic about that. As long as you hold onto that perspective, I think youíre going to continue feeling pissed off and resentful. Thereís no future in that.

iamanidiot posted 5/9/2016 02:50 AM

Kyrie : You are right. Just when I think that what I found out and what I lived through was the pits, I read how others ARE STILL living in this infidelity hell, for years!!
SI has definitely helped me understand and see a way forward. I have developed empathy for my wife now and what she must have gone through those days, many years ago.
I also understand the terrible burden she has carried. It is no wonder how strict she is - on herself especially, our boys, me. She has been trying to do everything 120% correct all these years.
I look forward to having that 'compassionate conversation' you had. There is a barrier. Too much vagueness like 'I don't knows' & 'I suppose so'. I want to get that out of the way. I would like to turn a corner and move on.
From the minute She told me, I knew I could forgive her. I will not condone what she did. I can move on. It is just the anger and hurt right now, that 'elusive response' you refer to, and that will happen. My release will come.

Right now we are selling up and moving house, a very busy time. So I have to put my feelings & ideas on hold. I have hope and I look forward to our future together, positively.

WillNotBreakMe posted 5/9/2016 09:27 AM

Wow, Kyrie. What a place of peace you seem to have found. I truly hope to be there someday.

Heartbroken789 posted 6/2/2016 07:28 AM

My 99yr old husband confessed 2 weeks ago that in the first 10 yrs of our 48 yr marriage he cheated on me with numerous women, all one night stands. He was an airline pilot and these encounters took place with stewardesses and other women during layovers. He tells me that he loves me and that these women did not mean anything. That it was only physical. I am crushed!

I had no clue that this was going on. He was in his 50s then, I in my 20s. - a May-December marriage. How do I deal with this knowledge now? The world I thought I knew, my knight in shining armor husband, none of these existed. He gave away what belonged to me, and these bitches in heat took what belonged to me. They knew he was married. He did not remove his wedding ring. He defiled that too. He used his position and his uniform to attract these women. They were only too eager to spend the night with a dashing airline captain. He reassures me that he has been faithful to me since his retirement. That is when our sex life took a nose dive due to his ED. He could no longer impress women without the uniform and that sleek jetplane (a penis extension?). So for over 30 yrs, since my early 30s, I have lived like a nun. I am bitter and resentful, and the trust is gone.

Itstoohard posted 6/2/2016 19:58 PM

Sad to see how large this post has gotten. I've posted on here before. Haven't been on here for a while. Glad to hear some have been able to move on. Me, not so much. The fact my history is not what I thought. That you can supposedly love someone and lie to them for years.
We're 67 now. Feel like I've wasted the last 30 years. Wish he could have had the guts to tell me at the time and let ME decide how I want to deal with his actions. I've come to deal with the A. Can't get pass living a lie fir all these years.
We are now polite to each other. He would like more. It's the best I can do.

iamanidiot posted 6/6/2016 08:36 AM

Heartbroken789 - Welcome to this terrible club. None of us ever got married thinking we would be here. We did not plan for this to happen. Our ideas, plans and hopes for a life together did not involve infidelity.

I can only offer you hugs (((( )))) and ask that you to keep posting. Try to get rid of your anger and your frustrations. Make sure you look after yourself physically ie. food, water, exercise.

Remember that NONE of this is your fault. There was nothing you could have done to prevent this happening. That said, your feelings will overwhelm you right now. You feel devastated and hurt. You feel cheated of a life.

Recovery takes time. And you will recover. You are strong. For me it has only been 18 months since I found out but I am slowly coming to grips with my situation.

It stinks that the ones we love feel they can do as they wish and mess up our life. Maybe it is time to take back our life now.

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