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For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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mrplspls posted 10/20/2020 10:02 AM

Throwaway 999, thank you for your kind and thoughtful response.

Oldwounds posted 10/20/2020 11:03 AM

somebody suggested I participate here.. posted in just found out. Should I repost or will folks find my story by clicking my name? new here

I read and posted on that thread.

Again, sorry to see you hear with us.

This thread does move a bit slow at times, but it was critical to my healing. When you're ready, you may want to click back and read the old posts in this thread. You'll find elements that apply to you now and like everything else at SI, some responses just don't fit your situation.

As I noted on your thread, the one big thing is to be kind to yourself. Just because it happened years ago -- it doesn't diminish the pain of your very recent discovery.

It can 2-5 years to fully process what you're learning now.

Take your time, step back as needed, read and post when you can.

mrplspls posted 10/21/2020 15:24 PM

Oldwounds

Thank you for post and thoughts.

I think the move slow aspect of this thread suits me. I do want to build a future with my wife. She has been devoted to me for 32 years. We have three adult children.
I can't control the past. I can't impose consequences on 2020 wife for 1987 and 1988 wife.

The quick harsh judgements of the just found out thread shake me.

I am trying to make the best of a nightmare situation.

At any time I could pull the plug and leave her, but she would so land on her feet, what would I accomplish other than compounding my misery with loss?

Oldwounds posted 10/21/2020 15:58 PM

Mrplspls -

I can't control the past.

I think this is a healthy perspective, itís very true.

I can't impose consequences on 2020 wife for 1987 and 1988 wife.

I would say that even if we could impose consequences ó there is no way to balance the injustice of infidelity. That said, punishing your partner isnít going to help rebuild the newly discovered damage in the relationship.

The quick harsh judgements of the just found out thread shake me.

Everyone means well. Most members are looking for you to protect yourself from getting hurt more. They want you to ask the tough questions to get as much of the truth as you can find. At the very least, you deserve some honesty going forward.

I am trying to make the best of a nightmare situation.

As are we all.

You will get there. We all do, regardless of the path we take.

At any time I could pull the plug and leave her, but she would so land on her feet, what would I accomplish other than compounding my misery with loss?

You do always have that option. But I do think you may need more information in order to best determine your future. For most of us, the first instinct is to save our marriage ó and you may yet do that. However, you do need to figure out why your wife made the choices she made. If our spouses donít work on why they did it, they may make similar choices again in the face of adversity.

And 2-5 years does sound daunting. I was certain I couldnít survive the pain that long. But I did.

The first few months left me in shock, the next few months I chased down the real truth ó my wife confessed but held back key details. Then it takes time to reassemble the puzzle of the life you thought you had to the real puzzle that was your life.

Infidelity is cruel ó we get put into competitions we didnít know we were in.

It takes time to heal from all that.

Keep breathing. Keep reading. Keep posting. Ask all the questions you need, at home and here.

Marlita posted 10/21/2020 20:02 PM

Throwaway999

Wow! I am sad, but oddly relieved for you! How awful is this? My God! How do you feel????

Throwaway999 posted 10/22/2020 06:02 AM

mrplspls - I apologize because I have not read all of your posts. I just wanted to make sure that you have found yourself a good IC. You need someone IRL to talk to...to help you process all of your feelings. Even though her affair was many years ago, and I know you want to R....please do not discount your hurt and anger. They are still justified...this is fresh and new for you.

I wanted to R right out of dday...in fact my first posts were in the R forum. But quickly I learned that when everyone here says 2 to 5 years...itís true. R wasnít in the cards for me...thatís okay, I can heal on my own.

Perhaps start to journal for ourselves...make yourself some lists of what you love about your life and wife. And then also lists about the feelings you feel from the hurt and betrayal. Getting it out all of paper truly does help. It will help you see what you need from your wife to move forward with R and not just rugsweep everything.

And also know whether the A happened yesterday or 33 years ago,..itís okay for you to have anger...to feel hurt...to feel heartbroken. It will take time for you to process all of the crazy emotions after a dday. It is a rollercoaster...some days are good and some days are horribly bad.

Your wife should be taking the lead here...R stands for both reconciliation and remorse. Even if it happened many years ago...it still happened and she should be leading your R. Doing everything in her power to respect your feelings and boundaries. She should be reading (not here, keep this for you), googling, watching videos, podcasts...getting her own IC. Actions speak louder than words...

mrplspls posted 11/2/2020 11:08 AM

Progress is being made. It helps that my wife has been very supportive, very loving, very patient, very willing to talk and share and reveal her struggles throughout her life and throughout our marriage.
She said the other night that it has been an opportunity for both of us to heal. She feels terrible that my pain and suffering are connected back to her actions, her choices, her sexual activity and her willingness to be with another.
She talked about personal things surrounding her teenaged pill overdose, not as an excuse for her infidelity, but as a step towards understanding herself better. She is not looking for my sympathy or empathy, but trying to put herself fully on the path of honesty with me. Yes, she kept her sexual activities secret for 33 years, but I believe her to be a person who values honesty despite that fact.

iamanidiot posted 11/9/2020 06:36 AM

mrplspls

Yes, she kept her sexual activities secret for 33 years, but I believe her to be a person who values honesty despite that fact.
Yip Ditto, the same here.

I often wonder if (the guilt of) going off the rails those years is what has made my spouse become so honest. Everything BY THE BOOK. She can actually be a real pain-in-the-butt. Considering she also does my bookkeeping and doesn't let me get away with anything!!
Despite the things that happened those years, so very long ago, she is the best person I know. I am glad we are still together, that we have made it this far & I cannot fault her since those days.

mrplspls posted 11/12/2020 08:37 AM

I am wondering about the strategy of the psychologist we are seeing via video due to covid restrictions.
In our recent session, she wanted to go over the context of the affair. My wife talked about turmoil and unresolved issues in her teenage years, connected to her feelings for her parents and the impact of their divorce upon her at age 15.
I tried to summon up character flaws that I might or might not have displayed in the first year and a half of our marriage.

It seems to me that the strategy is a conventional one. Have both people feel that they are contributing to a rebuilt relationship.
Yet the relationship was rebuilt over the decades, with the imbalance that my wife had put her affair behind her and I had almost no idea that she had been sexual with another man.
So I find that delving into the context of the affair is unproductive for me. I was blind and I was fooled. There are some aspects of my wife's choices and behaviour that are so slight and so preventable that it tortures me to think that a phone call or a conversation or something could have brought an end to it.
Then on the other hand there are aspects that were such a direct attack on me, my manhood, my ego, our marriage that it is hard to believe that we survived it.
Is context the important aspect or should we be putting it all behind us and working with present day?

Oldwounds posted 11/16/2020 11:50 AM

Is context the important aspect or should we be putting it all behind us and working with present day?

Based on the MC I had and reading stories here for nearly five years, if you bury it without processing it -- this will come back to haunt you.

It will.

Your want to focus on the now is a good thing. Seeing the good in your wife is a good thing.

Trying to accept what you don't understand takes more than a moment of reflection and then moving off.

It's just as important that your wife understands the damage caused, otherwise, in those moments where you need help processing some of this pain, she will not 'get it.' This doesn't mean punishment or retribution, but context is key to learning how to be better, safer partners.

iamanidiot posted 11/17/2020 02:48 AM

I can only echo what Oldwounds says - I feel he is spot on (again )
Sometimes we need to go back, to sort out possible issues - some why's.
Not everything, not always the ugly bits.

For instance:
We have not had any IC/MC etc.
But I have done a lot of reading on SI, and that has helped me. A lot.
My spouse turned over a new leaf 34 years ago. She accepted her lot on got on with it, vowing to herself to never 'slip' again.
The only problem I have is that the 'slip' in the logic/thought process/desire that allowed her (those days)to have an A, in my opinion, still has not been sorted out.
I call it her 'selfish mode'.
For some reason I may be a bit 'down' (work issues, state of the economy, meteorite headed our way - issues totally unrelated to US).
She will immediatly feel that it is because of HER PAST that I am being a bit off/quiet.
She will go into shutdown mode between us.
Her thought process will be along the line of 'he is thinking about my past again, he is going there and digging up all those ugly memories, again'.
Although she feels bad for her A related actions, she will allow herself to have a huffy.
To me this is her 'selfish' mode.

So, there are still issues between us that we need to sort out.

mrplspls posted 12/1/2020 10:56 AM

My WS has been very positive and supportive.
We are taking a break from our MC psychologist.
Probably return to her in the New. Year, unless she becomes a resource for just my wife.

I have a friend suggesting a therapist for me.

I think I am recovering, both putting things into perspective and obsessing less and less.
The hurt seems more distant, although triggers and. talking can bring back a wave of emotion.
Am I less a. man because I cry?
Should I continue to worry that the OM was so stealthy that I never had the chance to confront him?
Now that I know should I send him a Xmas card this year? No threats, minimum anger, extending the olive branch so that he can grow and repent?

Oldwounds posted 12/1/2020 11:46 AM

Am I less a. man because I cry?

Not a bit. Hell, if the early heroes of all Western sagas and earlier literature ó say Odysseus and Beowulf are allowed to mourn, so arenít we all?

Should I continue to worry that the OM was so stealthy that I never had the chance to confront him?

Cowardice is commonplace for these guys. OM in my world was our family friend. We had family dinners together, our kids played together. And yet, no word from him ever again. Iím good with that.

You were in a competition you DID NOT KNOW you were in.

Now that I know should I send him a Xmas card this year? No threats, minimum anger, extending the olive branch so that he can grow and repent?

It wasnít your job to babysit him or your wife, itís also not your job to help him heal either. I have found people who truly seek redemption tend to find it. Itís a similar result for people who never cared about who they hurt, they donít take advantage of olive branches.

longsadstory1952 posted 12/1/2020 13:22 PM

Reaching out to om to see if he repents is not a good idea. Really, why would he not smirk at your attempt. He fucked your wife and has been in the clear all these years. Do not do this.

mrplspls posted 12/2/2020 14:27 PM

Thanks folks. I thought it would show that I was healing, was willing to communicate, also a not so humble brag that she was better off with me
Thanks. My xmas card list just shortened by 1

somanyyears posted 12/2/2020 14:51 PM


..I have to agree with longsadstory

You don't need the complication.
I wanted to contact the OM back in 2009, but he died in 2006. What a crying shame!

smy

Oldwounds posted 12/2/2020 15:32 PM

Thanks folks. I thought it would show that I was healing, was willing to communicate, also a not so humble brag that she was better off with me Thanks. My xmas card list just shortened by 1

Good call. Not worth a stamp.

Donít let him know he is even in your head. Even if he does still exist there in some form, there is no need to give him the satisfaction.

marriageredux959 posted 12/3/2020 02:25 AM

Mrplspls -
I can't control the past.
I think this is a healthy perspective, itís very true.

I can't impose consequences on 2020 wife for 1987 and 1988 wife.
I would say that even if we could impose consequences ó there is no way to balance the injustice of infidelity. That said, punishing your partner isnít going to help rebuild the newly discovered damage in the relationship.

The quick harsh judgements of the just found out thread shake me.
Everyone means well. Most members are looking for you to protect yourself from getting hurt more. They want you to ask the tough questions to get as much of the truth as you can find. At the very least, you deserve some honesty going forward.

I am trying to make the best of a nightmare situation.
As are we all.

You will get there. We all do, regardless of the path we take.

At any time I could pull the plug and leave her, but she would so land on her feet, what would I accomplish other than compounding my misery with loss?
You do always have that option. But I do think you may need more information in order to best determine your future. For most of us, the first instinct is to save our marriage ó and you may yet do that. However, you do need to figure out why your wife made the choices she made. If our spouses donít work on why they did it, they may make similar choices again in the face of adversity.

And 2-5 years does sound daunting. I was certain I couldnít survive the pain that long. But I did.

The first few months left me in shock, the next few months I chased down the real truth ó my wife confessed but held back key details. Then it takes time to reassemble the puzzle of the life you thought you had to the real puzzle that was your life.

Infidelity is cruel ó we get put into competitions we didnít know we were in.

It takes time to heal from all that.

Keep breathing. Keep reading. Keep posting. Ask all the questions you need, at home and here.

^^^ All of this.

OldWounds was very wise and kind and gentle with me when I got here. Thank you again, OldWounds!

I think I've been through every emotional season possible in the past 2.5 years.

2.5 to 5 years seems like an eternity when one first starts out. Like, seriously? IT'S GOING TO TAKE THAT LONG?

Yes, yes it is. And it will pass excruciatingly slowly in some moments, but overall, it will pass like a fleeting dream, so quickly, because you will reprocess your entire relationship in fast forward.

I've not read back, so please excuse me if my contribution is redundant (it's been a long, busy, productive day and I'm relaxing with a wee nightcap before bed) but you will find yourself not only examining the actual infidelity-

but reprocessing and reevaluating the entire relationship in light of this new information.

For a recent infidelity, the couple typically reprocesses the entire relationship up to the infidelity- MY GOD, WHO ARE YOU REALLY? and How did we get here?- and *then* they process the infidelity.

^^^ Actually, much more accurately, this couple processes the very fact that the infidelity happened- What was it? What *exactly* happened? With whom? When? How? physical details, etc.

I liken this to staring at flaming wreckage, trying to assimilate and absorb horror and deal with PTSD. *Then* this couple begins the exploration of the 'whys,' the WHO ARE YOU REALLY? and How did we get here? and *then* they reprocess the infidelity and put it in the proper context in their lives- either within their new relationship, or within their separation/divorce/individual histories.

^^^ It's easy to see how processing a recent infidelity can take 2 to 5 years. That's a lot of processing- even if the infidelity took place at the wedding reception. =/

Couples who deal with finding out years later have a totally different set of parameters. They have all of the above, PLUS the balance of the relationship that occurred over perhaps years or decades following.

That's a helluva lot more processing- and there is LOTS more information there.

I like to think of processing an infidelity, especially one that occurred years ago and is recently discovered with many more years of marriage to process, as earning a college degree, either 4 year undergrad or post grad.

There were periods in that process that were excruciatingly slow and painful and purgatory or even hellish-

but full well everyone who walks with a diploma thinks back and says, "Where did the time go?"

It flew.
And they were building new skill sets and larger knowledge bases in that process.

You and hopefully your wife will as well. 2 to 5 years will fly by. They will be painful and productive and ultimately, hopefully, successful. <3

I have a special place in my heart for you, Mrplspls.

Like your experience, my husband's infidelity occurred in June 1987, literally within days of our fifth wedding anniversary. I remember, distinctly, realizing that. Happy Anniversary, Bitches!

In our case, my husband came back from an out of town trip, looking, acting, and being guilty as sin. I knew from the moment he walked in the door that *something* had happened, and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that it involved another woman.

Weird thing was, this was *totally* new territory for him and me; we'd never been here before that moment. And it was *totally* new territory for me; I'd never been cheated on before. So it's not like I was 'reading' known behavior- and yet, I still absolutely *knew,* from the moment he arrived home.

He couldn't look me in the eyes. He couldn't even look me in the face. He kept talking to a spot in space behind me, over my left shoulder. From the moment he walked in the door. I absolutely knew what that meant.

Long story short, after me gently prodding for three days, he gave me a technically accurate but much abbreviated and sanitized version of what had occurred. I've described it as 'Disney-fied,' if that gives context. It may have been factually correct in terms of what body parts interacted with what body parts but it in no way conveyed the essence of the thing, nor the conscious decision to step over that line with also the conscious understanding and the deliberate decision that deception was an integral part of it, nor the fucked up wayward narrative that he fed himself to make this all possible in the first place.

(I somehow decided early on to give myself permission to cuss like a sailor on SI. I'm not actually this vulgar IRL. Go figure. But it fits my persona here. Please pardon me. <3)

Anyway, I remember distinctly that, at that time, his obvious and palpable level of guilt did not match up with the raft of crap narrative he fed to me when he got home. I knew it. He knew it. We had two babies and we were hard up on the very closing date on our first home.

We rug swept like champs and moved on with life.

And to this day, I distinctly remember doing what I now recognize as 'The Pick Me Dance' for that entire summer, and into and throughout the entire next year. Even for a couple of years following, until life got too busy and drowned out things that weren't happening RIGHT NOW.

But that first summer, OMG.

I have always lived near, tied to, salt water.

Summers were spent immersed in it: salt water, salt air, sunshine (with copious sun screen, I am fair skinned) but as nearly naked as Mother Nature delivered me into this beloved environment, at one and communing with my elements.

Each year's wardrobe of bikinis and functional one piece bathing suits was a conversation between me and my world, a celebration of another trip around the sun, the joy of another birthday (of course I'm a Summer Baby) and the absolute celebration of another year of marriage.

Here's my beautiful body, Husband. I gave it to you. I bore your babies. And I fit right back into that bikini afterwards. Here I am, in the wind and the water and the salt air and the sunshine, in my natural element, as nearly naked as local ordinances will allow, just being myself in my world.

It was an essential celebration of life, of the pure essence of being a woman.

To this very moment, I remember how poignantly and how strongly my husband's indiscretion and, at the time, his *very limited confession* affected that year, that summer.

I remember, in fact, *the very moment* when I found and chose that year's bikini.

I remember seeing it on the rack, on the hanger.
I remember thinking, "Do I dare?"
I remember trying it on.
I remember thinking, "HELL YEAH, I DARE. TAKE THAT, HUSBAND! I'LL SEE YOU AND RAISE YOU YOUR LITTLE ADVENTURE!"
I remember being one of the first women in my locality to dare to rock a bikini that tiny *think Brazilian* with a 2 year old balanced on my hip. And that was my youngest child. In 1987. In a conservative mid-Atlantic area.

Pick Me Dance, hard. I felt the pain. But I had no idea what it was.
In a healthier place, I would not have felt that emptiness and confusion, and like I'd been robbed, somehow, of my place and of my very birthright.
And I sure the hell wouldn't have put myself in the position of trying to chase a 2 year old and a 4 year old around in a Brazilian bikini, no matter how hard I rocked it, and I did.

But here's the point:
There was Another Woman in my world.
There was Another Woman in my head.
She was there when I tried to celebrate another trip around the sun, when I tried to celebrate my world, when I tried to celebrate my very being.

My husband brought her into my world, and in doing so he diminished me, and now I have to fucking deal with her presence.

And it's fucking with my head.
And it's fucking with my very experience of myself.
And that's just off of the very 'Disney-fied' narrative I received at that time.
(God. Fuck him.)

We both Olympic level rug swept, and moved on.

Fast forward to 2018.
Due to a random conversation about *someone else's pending divorce* (the irony!) I referenced that particular experience, and wondered if that couple had dealt with something similar, and Husband, many years down the road and somewhat obscured and befuddled by countless other life events, let drop a detail that belied the entire previous narrative.

...aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, we're off to the races. =/ (Yeah, it was traumatic enough at the onset that I remembered that much detail, and also recognized an inconsistency when I saw it.)

Cue trickle truth, etc. for at least 1.5 years.

And then we had to process THE ENTIRE MARRIAGE.

How did we get to that moment?
How did we get to that point?
What informed that moment, those fucked up decisions?
And what happened afterwards?
What did/does it mean?
Where/how does it fit in?

My husband was so ashamed of his own indiscretion that he never repeated sexual infidelity.
But the 'wayward mindset' that let the thief in the door in the first place was still there. It was always there.
It influenced and directed and informed and guided a vast majority of our relationship, regardless of whether there was another overt, physical, sexual infidelity.
Infidelities take many forms.
And that had to be dealt with, one way or the other. Staying together, or not.

We both had to face it. (We had to face FOO modeling, both in terms of ourselves and our FOO, and in terms of each other, and each other's FOO.)

I've faced and fumbled and faced again and faced off against and fucking destroyed and at times, forgiven out of human empathy and sympathy, my husband's damage that manifested itself as waywardness, both the overt sexual/physical infidelity, and as tendencies and overt characteristics that asserted themselves elsewhere in our lives, in the brief years before, and in the long years after.

And so has he.

And that's fucking HARD. DIFFICULT.

But, it does evolve.

LOL, I remember *distinctly* (as distinctly as I remember buying that damned micro-bikini, OMG) my husband discovering the Wayward Forum on SI and declaring, "I live here now." (He doesn't post. Not his style. I understand it and as long as we are talking, peace.)

He saw himself. He began his own journey.
Hopefully, and so far it appears, that journey is back to us. I have that power of choice as well.

There *is* hope, Mrplspls. I'm here, OldWounds is here, others are here to tell you that it's possible, and achievable.

<3

longsadstory1952 posted 12/4/2020 23:09 PM

Good for you Mr p. Keep doing the good work. We are all n this together.

mrplspls posted 12/8/2020 13:34 PM

Some days feel easier than others..

Today is a tough one.

I don't want to put words in her mouth, but she can give the impression that because she is not the person she was back then, I am to accept the past as past. That the emotional work ahead is on my side, to find a way to forgive.

That if we are working towards renewing our marriage vows ahead, that be looked upon as a gesture of faith in the future, not a correction of her past.

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