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For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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Oldwounds posted 12/18/2018 15:56 PM

How do you "teach" your WS how to give you what you need?

If only.

We can't teach empathy or remorse. They feel it or they don't. Some hang on to denial...forever.

The big reminder I did was to ask my wife to put herself in my shoes, what would she feel, what would she do, if I was the person bringing someone into OUR world?

IF we choose to give one more chance to our spouses: Our only weapons are our self worth and our boundaries.

Self worth covers you regardless of the outcome. In case he never gets it.

Boundaries are what we require from them: Transparency forever (or as needed) to start, communication (like hey, I'll need to let you know how I feel for months or YEARS about this pain), and let them know they have to protect the relationship while helping you rebuild it.

It is not a big ask for someone who willingly hurt you. If they don't understand that, KNOW your value and be done.

Stronger2 posted 12/28/2018 08:42 AM

Dear Lovehurts,
I didn't teach my husband to give me what I needed, I explained to him in no uncertain terms the abusiveness of infidelity and keeping me in a sham relationship for 14 years. Essentially, infidelity and deceit are a form of abuse just like domestic violence. They involve one person controlling the life and choices of another while totally denying their human rights. At the most basic level I was not even able to consent to having sex with my husband during or after his affairs as my consent was given on the assumption of his fidelity. Had I known what he was doing or what he'd done I would never have consented. He knew this also but continued to have sex with me without me knowing what I was doing all that time. Your husband needs to understand exactly how abusive a person he has been and for how long and he needs to face up to that and take responsibility for it. That is the first step in giving you what you need. You also need to make him aware that years of lying, emotional and physical abuse (sex without consent) take years to 'get over', not weeks or months. He has seriously violated the basis of your relationship for years. If he has any doubts about the impact of that he should read the posts on this site and see how many people are still struggling a very long time after D Day. I am two years out from D Day 2 and I have significant meltdowns with my husband weekly to fortnightly. In addition, I'm still not sure that I want to stay with him a lot of the time. Infidelity is seriously abusive and does catastrophic damage to people and relationships.
Wishing you strength. Put yourself first every day and insist that your husband does the same from now on. That involves giving you everything that you say you need including months or years of discussion. If he's not prepared to do that tell him to forget it. Reconciliation requires serious commitment and WSs have to jettison their cowardice and selfishness entirely if it is to have any chance of succeeding.

igotquestions posted 1/9/2019 13:21 PM

I dont know where to start really. I am very new here, only been reading the forum for 2 days but I know this is where I need to be.

From the beginning, in 2006 I caught my WH talking on the phone at 2am to a woman. When it happened, I drilled him, found out who it was and reached out to her and told her not to talk to him again. He told me that it was just a friendship and they just were talking. Stupid me. I should have drilled harder but I didnt because I trusted him.

Fast forward to Jan 2018, WH confessed to an EA with that woman from 2007, an old classmate and girlfriend from high school, after discovering that I was very close to an EA myself (I am totally to blame but he was very absent and the OM was a coworker that was a listening ear) Nothing happened with my almost EA however WH immediately jumped in with accusations. He told me that he did the same thing but it was 11 years ago. He told me nothing happened, it was just talking and private messages on Myspace. Throughout the whole 2018 year, we have been trying to R however his paranoia had gotten out of control. Repeated questions and thoughts of a PA that he thought had happened.

Fast forward to this Jan.....just 3 days ago...He finally confessed, reluctantly, to having a PA with her. I am a total wreck! I have asked a ton of questions about everything....and I mean every little detail. I am trying forgive him and move on. It was so long ago and we have been talking alot. I am so confused. I feel so close to him but I still dont feel like I have all the answers. Things keep popping in my head, I ask and then he answers. Sometimes its detailed answers and sometimes its 'I dont know, I dont remember" Its hard to hear that. I feel like hes still trying to keep stuff from me to keep me from being more hurt.

He told me that she wanted him to leave me and she was in love with him. Its hard to think that he wasnt leading her on to believe that he actually would leave. He said he never said a bad thing about me to her and she was always very positive and they both would say how wrong they were but never stopped. Thats hard to believe too.

I guess I came here for support. I dont really know what I want at this point. I am so mad but more sad because I was his only when we got married but now thats tainted. 17 years of marriage...3 kids...

One thing that just stands out in my head that makes me believe that I dont know all the truth. He said he asked God for forgiveness but knew that he wouldnt get into eternity without confessing to me. He said he was willing to risk eternity to keep it from me because he didnt want to hurt me! BULL!!! He was willing to risk eternity because he didnt want me to leave!!! If he was willing to keep one from me for 11 years, why wouldnt he keep another one from me. Why would he tell me the whole truth about it. He said it was just oral and not actual sex....like its not as bad!!

[This message edited by igotquestions at 1:24 PM, January 9th (Wednesday)]

CantBeMe123 posted 1/9/2019 15:05 PM

igotquestions - I'm so sorry you're here. I hear you and I feel your pain.

I recommend re-posting your story to the "Just Found Out" forum, it is more active and you will get much more help. Others on here are much better at helping and providing advice.

I recently found out about my wife's infidelity from 2006 as well, so you and I are both in this shitty club together. I think with affairs from this long ago, minimization is a natural component and may not even be intentional on their part. It's just another piece of the shit sandwich we got served. They have spent a long time compartmentalizing, burying, and forgetting their awful deeds. We get a gut punch with very little ability to fact check or find closure.

Stronger2 posted 1/10/2019 07:46 AM

Igotquestions - I am so sorry that you are here and I hope that I can offer you some support and help from my own experience.
You are right to have questions and you are very early into this horrible and traumatic experience. As such, take all the time you need to ask questions and if you don't believe your husband then you are probably right not to. Continued lying (trickle truth) is pretty rife among those who betray their spouses and families, especially once the 'truth' starts to be discovered. My husband lied to me for 13 months after I first started to learn about his PA. He told me he'd had sex twice in 2006 on separate occasions with a colleague after her marriage broke down and he swore blind that this was the case. Every time I asked him if there was anything more he denied it whilst also acting like the poster boy for remorse. Eventually I started to piece together the truth but only by further accidental discoveries. It turned out he'd had a 3 and a half month affair in 2003 with his colleague who was also married with a baby at the time and the affair only ended because he got me pregnant while he was screwing around. I think it is highly unlikely that your husband and AP only had 'oral sex'(as if that weren't bad enough). It is much more likely that they had full sex and did whatever else they felt like. You need to be realistic about the likelihood of two adults in a sexual relationship not actually having intercourse, particularly if it was anything longer than a ONS. If there is any chance of your relationship being viable going forward, your husband needs to be fully truthful NOW. He most likely feels that telling you something of what happened rather than all of it is enough because he fears that the full truth will hurt you more and I'm pretty darned sure that he doesn't want to own up to being more of a scumbag than he needs to. Again this is pretty standard stuff from most WSs as many of us here have learned from bitter experience. You need to set very clear boundaries with your husband and you need to insist on the truth now. In my case I had to dig and dig to get information and it was only through contacting the AP (who I tracked down very easily despite it being more then 10 years later) that I managed to piece things together - she also lied to me but inconsistencies between what the two of them told me led to me working it out for myself in the end. I then had to throw my husband out before he finally gave me the full account.
Do keep posting - being a survivor of infidelity is a lonely experience and especially so when you find out years later.
Let me know how things go. I wish you lots of strength.

[This message edited by Stronger2 at 7:48 AM, January 10th (Thursday)]

marriageredux959 posted 1/14/2019 13:31 PM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:05 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

Oldwounds posted 1/14/2019 14:09 PM

I understand that many of you are coping with far greater, much more painful betrayals. I understand that I'm whining about a situation that many of you would consider to be a blazing success (full disclosure of actual activity, self-correction.) I apologize for imposing my little bit of trouble in the middle of your much more complicated situations.

No need to compare situations or ever apologize for the pain that brought you here. Your pain is real and clearly needs to be addressed or you wouldn't have taken the time to explain your situation.

I'm sorry to see you here with us, but SI has been a great source for my healing.

Honestly, that makes sense, and I wish I didn't know all this stuff now.

I prefer all of the truth be pulled from the dark and into the light of day, despite the horrible details. I wanted two things from knowing 'too much' -- and those included wanting to know my wife's mindset and to make certain nothing was left of the fantasy.

It could be true in regards to your husband believing his response to his infidelity was NOT due to the Coolidge effect. My wife was far more interested in physical contact after her belated confession, simply to try and reconnect/rebuild the bond she KNEW she broke with me.

You're getting counseling and your spouse seems to be supportive of your recovery, so that's a great start.

I would only advise to talk to you as much as you need or don't need with your husband. Endless questions seem to be an inherent part of the healing process.

If his boundaries and selfish behavior have been or are currently being addressed, that's good too. Selfishness appears to be the greatest common attribute among those who have cheated.

The mind movies are also an unfortunate part of the process as well. The mind movies have slowed down a great deal for me, as I have fully grieved the loss of our initial relationship trust and sense of innocence we thought we had.

Be kind to you along the way, and give yourself plenty of time.

CantBeMe123 posted 1/14/2019 14:20 PM

What exactly got disclosed between the first and second "d-day"?" I can't really tell from your post how much worse his actions were, or if they were worse at all. It sounds like maybe he was just more detailed in describing his own arousal and enjoyment? The following statement from you makes it sound more serious though:

I'm obviously traumatized, though- witness this screed- and more so I think because I lived with this man for years with no clue about how he got himself into that situation with the intent to deceive me. And that he did actually deceive me, in a way, by not confessing his true level of complicity and degree of involvement.

If the truth remains that he did not engage in sex with the stripper (of any kind), then I think your main focus is setting proper boundaries. Your husband may or may not have known he was doing anything wrong. My wife and I have had an understanding that I occasionally go to strip clubs (once a year or two, special occasions) and that it is not cheating. That said, if I were to receive sex acts from a stripper, it would obviously be a betrayal and it would be cheating. I think there is grey area around touching the stripper, and it sounds like this is where your husband found himself.

Without getting into semantics, all that matters is that you feel betrayed. That isn't OK, but it's also not OK to ask your husband to live up to standards that only you know about. So communicate - set clear boundaries. A strip club has a lot of "a la carte" options so to speak, so you can be specific - i.e., watching is OK, lap dance isn't. Or lap dance is OK, but private dance isn't. Or anything is OK, but you cannot touch. Or, you're not allowed in a strip club at all! Anything is OK, it just needs to be agreed upon beforehand and well understood. And you already nailed it:

I didn't have a problem with strip clubs; I saw them as fantasy material at most. Husband simply being in the place wasn't an issue. Because neither of us had even heard of clubs that allowed physical contact, it never occurred to either of us to discuss physical boundaries in strip clubs.

Whatever it is that happened, it sounds like your husband is remorseful and was trying to be honest. I think it's a "forgive and learn from" it situation. Many men think of strip clubs the same way as watching porn - harmless fun. This is honestly how I think about it, and while my wife isn't in love with me visiting them on the rare occasions that I do, she understands what it is and what it is not. It is not an escape from my wife, or seeking a new partner, or looking for sexual fulfillment, it's just male bonding and good "clean" fun.

If what he did was more than I understand, then I'm sorry for any dismissiveness or minimizing on my part! Not my intention at all. If it was a lap dance, then I would encourage taking a "big picture approach" and not assigning it any more value than what it is, or pain shopping around it.

marriageredux959 posted 1/14/2019 15:02 PM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:08 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

marriageredux959 posted 1/14/2019 15:57 PM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:10 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 1/17/2019 09:03 AM


Men are aroused by pretty young women. This is a statement of fact. It is the basis for giant sectors of our economy. Tons of advertising relies on this simple truth to sell products. Go to any car, boat, or motorcycle show and what is the main thing you see at displays to lure (mostly male) attendees to spend money? Etc.

I was once invited to a private sports venue suite by a wealthy individual. When I got there, all of the people in the invited group were men. No spouses. Then, about 15 minutes later, the strippers he hired to "accompany" us in the suite arrived. All young, taut, voluptuous, attractive. Lots of touching and contact. They coo in your ear: "Ooh, you're sweet. I can't wait to taste you." Etc. If you're a man, either married or not, and especially if you've had a few (or a few too many) to drink, you literally lose your ability to think rationally.

In my case, I had to use the restroom at one point. The restroom was out of the suite, down the hall. Gave me a chance to clear my head. Looked at myself in the mirror and asked, "What the heck are you doing?" I did not return to the suite. Instead I just went home. I heard that, later, the wealth man put his whole entourage into a few hired limos and went to a private beach house with a pool where the strippers got completely naked and frolicked with the men in the pool. Several husbands cheated that night. One of them might have been me had I not found the good sense to leave.

I guess the point is that the effect of strippers is so stark, a married man who has been monogamous and faithful for a decade or two suddenly finding himself in physical contact with a hot nude woman who is more or less a stranger. Add to that the fact that many strippers, at least the ones who make lots of money, become expert at reading men and manipulating their libidos. Your WH may believe that he himself "chose" this stripper, but I reckon he's giving himself too much credit. I have no doubt that she recognized, before he did, that she was his type and there was money in it for her if she got into his head, which isn't hard to do if you are a naked pretty young woman and the man has been drinking.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 4:27 PM, January 17th (Thursday)]

marriageredux959 posted 1/21/2019 12:26 PM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:06 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 1/22/2019 08:20 AM

Even though this incident was purely physical/sexual, no emotional component pulling him across that line, it wasn't about her attractiveness relative to mine. It was about her attractiveness, period, along with her seductiveness, the erotic/exotic nature of the situation, and opportunity. But, at the bottom line, it was about Husband's boundaries, maturity, judgment, etc.

That is exactly spot on. My wife is also a jaw-dropping beauty. Think Sanaa Lathan. Often, when I see her for the first time after no seeing her for a time (such as work travel), my breath is taken away. Other men check her out constantly.

Yet in that evening I describe, the intense physical presence of a mostly-naked pretty woman, a stranger to me, was suddenly electric and exciting. She wasn't even my type physically. She was pretty on an objective level, to be sure, but in my single life I tended to prefer one specific physical type, which includes a specific ethnicity (different than my own), and my wife falls into that category, but this stripper did not.

It is simple for a man to avoid this situation, by the way. You generally need to go to men's clubs or such to be in the presence of naked or nearly-naked strippers who will touch and contact you (in my case it was an unexpected encounter in a private suite arranged as a jape by a wealthy man who was a serial philanderer to his long-suffering trophy wife). So don't go to those places.

This is sort of a long way of saying that you should not let this affect either (a) your self confidence, or (b) your belief in your husband's attraction to you.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:14 PM, January 22nd (Tuesday)]

marriageredux959 posted 1/25/2019 09:50 AM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:12 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

earlydetour posted 1/29/2019 11:29 AM


Except for the specific nature of the betrayal (MCOW & friend for his EA), I'm right there with you unpacking the whys and my H and examining the M since DD1. H was a friend of OW before we started dating and they increased their "friendship" & emotional closeness just as we were getting M. It continued for over the next year.

My more recent DD2 also shed light on how I too minimized some of the information of the A for my own sanity as a young wife and that specific new information, as you said,

Something inside of me shattered as well. It was like a spell had been broken, and the act of breaking the spell also broke a part of me. I am broken.

When I first started posting here, others asked why I haven't left him yet, considering all the repeated non-infidelity behavior. You said exactly how I realize I feel now:

I put up with behaviors that were, in retrospect, obviously part of a pattern, I tolerated it because it didn't involve other women.

You did a very good job detailing the mental state I too have been in for the past almost 2 years now. The anger is expressing the damage done inside us, not just by their betrayal, but the years afterwards.

I feel bat shit crazy too right now . Hang in there.

I wanted you to know you're not alone in unpacking years later, especially after you get a clearer picture of the nature of the betrayal.

marriageredux959 posted 1/31/2019 06:56 AM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:14 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

earlydetour posted 1/31/2019 10:15 AM


The description of your H is spot-on for how I describe my H. And, yes, those same issues contributed to their mindset/POV that allowed them to betray us.

It's a weird combination of circumstances. I learned a long time ago that the best way to get through this married life is to let Husband have his way. Things just go more smoothly if Husband does what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, on his terms. Stay out of his way, facilitate his priorities, go light on your own needs and agenda, and life can be pretty damned easy.

Fortunately, the vast majority of the time, what he wants to do is really OK. He wants to work. He's a workaholic. He wants his life, our life together, to have certain infrastructure in place and certain qualities, and these things and qualities he desires are overwhelmingly positive and healthy. But, he has to have it his way. His priorities are the priorities. His values are the values. His responsibilities are the responsibilities and must be respected as such.

Also, he is always right. Always. And if there's any possibility that he's wrong, well, he's not wrong. It's a perception/understanding problem on my end. My pain would cease if I'd simply understand and accept that he's right. I'm not seeing things the right way, i.e. his way.

My job is to facilitate life such that we do things his way.

This was much, much more trying and difficult when I was working full time (with mandatory overtime) and when we were raising kids at the same time. I was often exhausted by the intrinsic demands, never mind Husband's insistence on a "Leave It to Beaver" lifestyle.

He really did expect me to be a full time working career having paycheck producing partner in addition to running a household just like his stay at home mother did. And I did it. Did he help with the chores? Sometimes. And he did a lot of the traditional male role things around the house (when he wasn't sucked into work.) It's not like he was sitting on his hands or gaming or out carousing every night. But his expectations were high nigh unto unrealistic, and I simply, produced. I rose to that standard. And we did things his way.

There's good here too. But when it goes south, H goes back to behaviors towards me that he had during his EA. H didn't behave that way during dating. So when those behaviors begin again, it is a reminder of his EA and the pain. Then those behaviors subside. It's a long track rollercoaster. H also has FOO issues - when things are south, he acts like I'm his mom who he felt treated him and his brothers unfairly over is sisters & ditto for our dds who he would view as his sisters that got away with things because of their mother - he'd view himself as their brother that was angry about the past, instead of being a loving, caring parent. It's sad to see other friends of my youngest dd hug her dad in front of us and know that my H doesn't hug them and they feel no need to hug him or want a hug from him. H made that type of relationship with them. It all stems from the same dysfunctions between his ears and it comes out in different ways.

One time he actually tried to float a spectacular raft of crap past me.

^^^ROTFLMAO That was such a well-crafted description.

In my own situation, I've been trying to figure out if I trust my H can change decades of habits and his mindset so that I can feel confident about living out the rest of my life with him, now having a clearer view of him and his behaviors. There's been a lot of damage done to my head & heart and I'm afraid I'm rejecting sincere efforts on his part because of the damage. We're both seeing that the damage goes deep and it won't heal just because of his efforts to change.

At the time of his EA, we had put in 5 years into the relationship, but only a year of M, and it was a rough year. Not much of a foundation, but we tried to start a new M. Now, we have 3 decades together. No new A, but a DD2. Lots to unpack.

Here's to breakthroughs, no matter how long it takes! Stay strong.

[This message edited by earlydetour at 10:18 AM, January 31st (Thursday)]

marriageredux959 posted 1/31/2019 13:23 PM

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 2:16 PM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

TimeSpiral posted 2/11/2019 23:14 PM

This is my first post. I'd like to start with a more targeted question for other BS's who found out years later.

My thumbnail sketch: The affair was 30 years ago. At the time she actually came clean about sleeping with the AP but her story was substantially minimized and we rug swept. My second d-day was 4 months ago, and after a month painful trickle truth, a month of wrapping my head around it, and two more months of intense processing, I've now got my understanding of the reality. I can't say I'm at acceptance, there's a ton more work to be done, but I'm on a path of healing.

Details fade with time. But specific details that she has given me have written the narrative I now have which gives me my understanding of the reality of the affair. One of my great fears is that more will come out later, something that will cut deeply or radically alter my understanding. I'm sure this is a common fear, it goes to security, a sense of feeling safe, and to ongoing trust.

I am one of those BS's who needs everything and she's agreed to give me just that. I do trust that she has given me what she has to give. But during the trickle truth phase I saw first hand how repressed memories can come back at any time. She has thrown herself into understanding my needs and answering her why's, she is doing everything right, and yet there is a non-zero chance there will be important detail disclosures in the future.

My question to anyone in the same boat: did your WS have additional disclosures that resurfaced in the months and years after your d-day? Were they impactful? Any advice for someone looking to cope with this ongoing fear?

iamanidiot posted 2/12/2019 02:38 AM

I was pretty much floored the day the truth all came out. It took around 24 hours to get most of the detail.
It all made sense to me, as the 30 years old puzzle pieces fell into place.

But, there was a lot of detail that was still kept from me.
Some of it knowingly on purpose & some of it inadvertently by accident (can infidelity EVER be inadvertently by accident )

30 years ago!!

Our memories of those times are so different, our perceptions of the same events are also quite different.
This means that the 'new reality' that I am just getting used to is sometimes different from my spouse's point of view.
And then I see that as more TT .....

My question to anyone in the same boat: did your WS have additional disclosures that resurfaced in the months and years after your d-day? Were they impactful? Any advice for someone looking to cope with this ongoing fear?
For me, trying to prise the nitty gritty details out of her AND trying to absorb the shitty impact on my well-being was a worthless self defeating exercise. Like holding your hand in the fire.
There is NO guarantee about any further details you may get. The A had enough impact by itself.

Advice: Decide if you are going to be a victim and let it ruin you,
or if YOU feel you can move on, then do so knowing that there is a past but the future can only be better, especially with a remorseful WS by your side.
No matter what !!

Please continue to post your story. You may just get the advice you are looking for.

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