Hi Iamanidiot. I can relate to your story somewhat. I found out 40 years after the fact. She
slept with 6 OM and cheated with 8 more w/o intercourse. That all ended in 1974. Since
then she's been a great and supportive wife. She confessed to me on 2/10/11. Took 3 years
after D-day #1 to get the other 50% of the story (TT, minimizing, gaslighting, etc.). Let me
say up front my behavior was no better than hers (we're madhatters). My affairs ended in
1985. We both rugswept it all those years. Point I'm getting at is, like your wife mine told
me I needed to get over it, it was a long time ago, and my favorite was " I just wanna say
grow up". You see, after D-day #1 she told me but I didn't tell her anything, until she said
that(about 2 weeks later). Then I thought "she thinks this is nothing and I need to grow up" let's see how grown
up she is. So I unloaded everything. It was extensive. Guess what, no more "just need to get
over it and grow up, it was a long time ago, remember the good years, etc". Now she
began to understand the nightmare of betrayal to that degree. It's the only advantage I've
discovered to being a madhatter. We're 7.5 years out from that now. As you say, the toughest
part is not being able to remember details important to each of us.
As far as being the second choice, I felt like that for a long time. After all when she came
back to me in '74 she admitted she didn't love me. How can you not think of yourself as #2.
As we continued to live life for the next 40 years our love for each other grew. So much so
that before D-day I didn't think I was capable of loving anybody that much. I was and am confident that I'm not #2 anymore. If I've been #2 for 40 years she's certainly had plenty of time
to find #1. I don't know your wife but I bet if you could get in her head you'd see your not #2.
Just my 2 cents. There's a certain momentum in marriages that got right side up and stayed
that way for 30 or in my case 40 years. Yes, no matter how long ago the betrayal is fresh when
you first find out. But with decades of fidelity on your side, it can be a leg up in reconciliation.
Just depends how you want to look at it.