Sadly, I am a member of this club as well, although I actually had a Triple Betrayal - my WH, OW, and OW's husband. OW and her husband were my very close friends of five years. It's a long and complicated story that I posted about in JFO a few months ago - I reposted at the bottom of this post if anyone is interested in the sordid details.
Anyway, it's been 6 months now, and I am still pretty much a wreck. This has been the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. I was devastated not only by my WH's betrayal, but by my friends and their reaction after the affair was disclosed.
Right now I cannot imagine ever having another female friend. I was thinking about it the other day, and I don't believe I have ever had a female friend (past the age of 14 or so) who did not at some point stab me in the back over a man (in one way or another). Only one of them ever even apologized to me after doing so. That is a sad, sad record in life.
In general, the thought of trusting people again makes me feel sick and scared. I honestly do not believe that I will ever have close friends again in my lifetime. I don't think I can do it anymore. I look at my coworkers and people on the street and the only thing I can think about is wondering what they might be doing behind the scenes to wreck me or injure me in some way.
My social life was also destroyed because my WH's APs were friends with all our other friends. We did end up moving, and I like our new town, but I am still homesick for our old town and feel so angry and sad that these sick people and their sick lifestyle and behaviors were what prompted the life change. These are just some of the many ways in which my WH's actions have negatively affected my life.
I am only 39, and I feel pretty much permanently friendless and alone. I feel like nobody I loved or trusted ever really cared that much about me or how I felt - they were just using me to get something they wanted, one way or another. In this particular case it was access to my husband.
I have read some terrible stories on SI, but many of the worst ones seem to me to be the double betrayals. It's like it just completely ruins the BS's ability to form and maintain healthy and trusting relationships with *anybody* going forward in life, not just romantic relationships with a partner. I wish my husband would have just gone with some random co-worker to get his ego kibble, or a prostitute or something. That way I still would have been able to keep some faith in other people too.
Anyway, I don't know what else to say. Just wanted to check in on this thread as yet another member of the club nobody ever wanted to belong to in life. I am sorry that we are all here.
MY STORY, PREVIOUSLY POSTED IN JFO...
Six months ago, my husband stayed out all night and got drunk with another couple we have known for 5 years.
These individuals were some of our closest friends, and they were an intimate part of our social circle. We saw them nearly every week, and even took vacations with them. The wife of the couple was one of my closest girlfriends. They are polyamorous, but knew we were 100% monogamous because we had discussed it with them on multiple occasions. I didn't care what they did in their bedroom, I respected their relationship, and assumed they respected mine, as our conversations about the topic were very civil and reasonable. I never expressed any desire to move to polyamoury with them or anyone else, nor did my husband ever express such a thing to me privately or during a conversation with them.
Anyway, WH came home from this "night out" late the next morning and immediately confessed to me that he had a significant physical encounter with the wife (AP) - no sex, but many other very intimate things happened that were definitely not within the agreed-upon boundaries of our monogamous, 8.5 year marriage.
APH (affair partner's husband) was present while this happened, and explicitly encouraged the physical encounter while it was happening with verbal commentary and encouragement.
When APH found out that I was unhappy about what had happened, his only comment to WH was "Didn't she know you were attracted to AP?" - as though the mere fact of WH's attraction to AP was some kind of reasonable justification for disregarding boundaries, and as though my unhappiness about the situation was some kind of unreasonable reaction.
Four days after all of this, I found out that WH and AP had been having an emotional affair as well, which started during a mutual vacation we took in April. They had been planning for three months to start having sex with one another, and were going to "tell me after I finished my dissertation".
(To add one more layer of crap to this whole thing, I am a late stage Ph.D. student, and DDay was 2 weeks before my final oral defense. I have spent 5 years working on this degree, many 14 hour days, and July was one of the most stressful times of my entire life to date - BEFORE the affair!)
I found out about the EA by reading email correspondence between the three of them, and WH continued to lie to me about it until he was confronted with the evidence.
I had no clue about any of this. Nothing was ever discussed with me, WH and I had never made any serious moves towards any kind of open marriage arrangements regarding AP, APH, or anyone else, and I had no idea at all that he had any feelings for AP beyond some mild flirtation.
After the revelation about the emotional affair, I asked WH to go no-contact with them so we could work on our marriage and so I could finish my dissertation. He agreed immediately and with little reluctance, but we were both too naive to know how to do it correctly. So he went over there in person, and idiotically cried on their shoulder about how sad he was to be losing their friendship, blah blah. They interpreted this action as "TheGarden is a horrible irrational harpy who is forcing her kind, sweet husband to give up his loving friend and his new polyamourous girlfriend, who was only trying to help him see the miracle of non-monogamy."
The day after we went NC, APH sent me a extremely hurtful email, in which he told me that I needed to manage my "irrational hang-ups", and scolded me about destroying WH' life, spoiling all their fun, and hurting their (AP's & APH's) feelings. He also blamed me for some other unrelated social problems WH has recently had.
There was no apology or explanation made for anything they might have done to contribute to this situation, nor was there any empathy shown for me in terms of what I might be feeling 5 days after learning about this, or about the fact that this could seriously impact my ability to finish my Ph.D.
That email was absolutely devastating for me. I felt like my heart broke into 10 million pieces, because I had not only been betrayed by my husband, but by two of my closest friends. WH and I had the worst fight in our entire 13 years following the receipt of that email, and during the heat of the conflict he physically assaulted me (he has rarely ever even raised his voice to me at any point before in 13 years of our relationship, has never before even called me a name or anything - talk about being in an affair fog!)
At that point, 1.5 weeks before my oral defense, it was pretty clear that I was not going to be able to defend my dissertation, and I went in the next day and told my advisor and committee that I was having some serious marital problems and had to cancel my defense date. It was one of the more humiliating moments of my life, and I am still feeling ashamed about it.
Since that time, I have been unable to work on my dissertation, and I am now starting to seriously doubt my ability to finish at all. I do not have a job, health insurance, or funding for the fall semester, and had to put my fall tuition on a credit card.
Also since that time, I have also discovered that WH was lying about a number of other things, including exactly how far they went physically on the night in question, that there was another physical encounter as far back as last August, that he had discussed a possible relationship between them as far back as last August, and that she had sent him BSDM/polyamorous-related pornography via email a week prior to our mutual April vacation.
One of the most awful aspects of this situation is that WH and I had had a number of conversations over the years about how we both believed that fidelity was important, and about how dishonesty after fidelity was the most destructive element of an affair. We had both explicitly promised one another to tell the truth immediately if either one of us ever made a "mistake" with another person. So the first time this ever happens, what does he do? TT and blatantly lie to my face for a month.
I am absolutely devastated by the secrecy and the lies, and the utter disregard for my marriage and my personal well-being that all three individuals involved in this situation have demonstrated over the past year.
I feel like a little discarded piece of trash that three people I cared for kicked to the side of the road in their zeal to get to some teenage petting and grinding on a couch.
To his credit, WH came out of the affair fog within a week or so and has been incredibly remorseful about everything since then (including about the physical assault, even crying and demanding that I call the police on him). He crafted and sent another, improved NC letter to AP after a month, in which he explained that he was just cheating with her, that the email APH sent was disgusting and cruel, and that the friendship between us all was irrevocably broken due to their mutual actions (WH, AP, & APH).
He also read a lot of stuff about polyamoury, because I told him I didn't want to be in a marriage under false pretenses - if he wanted an open marriage he needed to figure that out and tell me instead of just making decisions for both of us without my consent. He now says he is not interested in that lifestyle at all, it was just cheating and the usual sort of affair fog crap that WSs engage in with APs.
He has also been reading and posting on SI, and we have had a lot of discussions about why he made some of these terrible choices. He's done a lot of introspection, and discovered a few things about himself in the last few months. I am 95% sure that the TT has ended (my gut says it has), but of course now I can't be sure about anything in my life anymore.
Nevertheless, I am not that hopeful about anything. I kind of feel like our entire marriage was a lie. I don't know how to trust him anymore, because he was someone I viewed as being very honorable and kind prior to this incident. I would have bet any amount of money prior to the morning he came home after getting drunk with AP that he would NEVER have been the husband to cheat on me and abuse my love and trust for him in order to get away with lying about his infidelity. I feel like my loving, decent husband was replaced by an alien being or something. And now I really don't know for sure who he is. He acts like a good person now, and says all the right things, but he did that before the affair. I don't want to get divorced, but I sometimes have such negative emotions about him and what he did that I just can't imagine being in a marriage with someone I feel that way about.
I have told him I need to finish my Ph.D. before I can make any final decisions about the marriage. I am no longer lying in bed depressed all day long, and am able to do basic life tasks, but am still having trouble working on my research.
We have also decided that if we stay together we are moving away from our town. I totally outed WH and his APs to our entire social circle (100s of people!), which actually was very emotionally freeing. I didn't want to carry shame and secrets by myself, or pretend like nothing was wrong between the four of us. And I got a lot of needed social support in return (and some shocking infidelity-related confessions from a few friends I thought had happy marriages). But nevertheless neither WH or I want to ever run into AP or APH again, and that will be hard in our town without dumping all of our other friends. So we are just going to get a new start, which is something we were thinking about pre-A anyway.
I have a lot of nightmares, many of which involve physical violence against the AP, which is interesting because of the three of them, I feel most angry with the APH - AP and WH were "under the influence" of alcohol and affair fog/dopamine, but he had no excuse whatsoever for encouraging a good friend to destroy his marriage and for being so cruel to me after the fact (to me it's kind of like the difference between manslaughter and murder).
I also have no idea how to ever trust a friend again. It kind of seems like I've been burned by every female friend I've ever had in one way or another. But then again, I guess male friends aren't always trustworthy either. It just makes me incredibly sad. I was never the "jealous" type, always watching my husband if he was talking to a woman. When we go out now, I look at all the people around me and I just wonder which of them is really a terrible, selfish person waiting to hurt someone else who trusts them, or who might be pretending to love or care for someone just so they can gain access to their spouse. Not sure how to make or be open with friends again when I feel that way.
I am also really, really struggling with the polyamoury thing - it's a huge trigger for me now, and it seems like every other article on the internet these days is titled "Polyamoury: The Relationship Model of the Future!", and they're all about these fabulously happy people who are super-enlightened and have wonderful, loving, sexy-times relationships with their wife and 3 girlfriends and 2 other dating partners and their unicorn bisexual live-in maid and anyone who can't live that lifestyle is fundamentally psychologically broken and immature (basically the same kind of stuff APH sent me in his tramautizing email). And all about how poly people are more HONEST than monogamous people, and COMMUNICATE BETTER than monogamous people, blah blah blah. Really??? Where was MY honest communication when you were plotting with WH for months, sending him kinky BSDM poly porn, letting him drunkenly grope your genitals on your couch while his loving wife (your trusting friend, who wholly respected your marriage while you were undermining hers) was at home worrying about her dissertation defense and how to find a job that wouldn't destroy his career? How is that superior to my "unenlightened" monogamy, you lying, betraying bitch?
It just all sucks. This is the worst moment of my life so far, bar none.