My wife and I met thirty-two years ago. We were teenagers, she was a rising senior in high school and I had just graduated. Her father died when she was twelve and I met her when she was seventeen and have been with her since. It really was love at first sight. We dated long distance for several years with our relationship becoming more serious over time. We married in 1992, six years after we met.
We had our first child in 1996 and our second in 1999. My career was going well and we lived comfortably. I changed things up with my job so I could spend more time with my family, and we lived the prototypical suburban life: two kids, two jobs, two dogs, a mortgage, and so on.
About fifteen years into the marriage, we were living parallel lives. We attended to the kids' needs, but we spent more time parenting than being good spouses. We were living in the same house, but our lives were disconnected. Over time, our intimacy faded to the point we were not particularly close emotionally and our sex life suffered.
In 2010, eighteen years into our marriage, I had a sudden health emergency that left me dead for five minutes. It was traumatic emotionally for everyone. Physically I recovered very quickly, and fully, but the brush with my mortality exposed all the weaknesses in our marriage. I wanted to be happy, right now, and anyone who wasn't with me on that was not on "my team." My wife struggled to fit in, because she wanted to nurture me and protect me and I wanted to live on a high wire.
Quite by accident, I reconnected platonically with a woman for whom I had long had a "married crush." She confided in me her plan to divorce and I shared with her my marital struggles. We talked too much, about too many things, for about a month before we realized it was not a good idea. We broke contact, but not before my wife suspected the situation and found some emails that were too personal for people who were merely platonic. I never had physical contact with my friend, not of any kind, but my wife absolutely believed that this relationship had become a full blown affair. It wasn't, but she believed it was.
By this time, my wife had sought comfort with my best friend. He lived out of town, but they texted often. The three of us had been close since college, so twenty years of friendship between us. He was in our wedding. He was my children's godfather, and "uncle." I trusted him with my wife without reservation. Unfortunately, my trust in him was misplaced.
My wife's relationship with him escalated to an emotional (electronic) affair shortly after my medical issue and moved quickly. Under cover of a long planned trip, my wife began a physical affair with him in October 2010. Shortly thereafter, I discovered inappropriate emails that betrayed at least an emotional affair, and my wife's statement that she wanted to divorce me and that she "loved him with all her heart." I confronted them both about it, they conceded the inappropriate emotional connection but adamantly denied a physical affair.
I resolved that a physical affair was likely but that even if it had happened, I would forgive them both. After all, I had likewise become emotionally entangled with another woman and I wanted to move forward with my wife to be happy together. I believed that we mutually forgave one another for our contemporaneous wrongs to one another, and committed to our marriage.
I did. She didn't. She carried on her long distance affair, emotionally and physically, for the next year until my friend moved to our neighborhood with a job change. They continued their affair for another year after that, into 2013. I was unaware of it. I was well aware my wife and I were on the verge of divorce, but I thought we were just having ongoing disconnection between us. Foolishly, it never occurred to me to think perhaps my wife was fucking my friend and that might be part of the problem.
It was a limerent affair, in which they operated in an alternate fantasy land where I was the bad guy and they were destined to be together, soulmates denied connection until midlife. Until, they got to spend a lot of time together and my wife realized he had so many issues that made him insufferable that she came out of the fog. He demanded they continue the affair, but she broke it off. He moved away and severed all ties with our family. Good riddance, by then, I thought, because he had become a real jerk to everyone.
My marriage improved markedly over the next five years, all the while I was unaware of my wife's long term affair. She became the wife every man would want. She took interest in my hobbies, she fed me well, she turned up the sex to fulfill every want I could imagine. We returned to truly enjoying one another in every sense of the word.
And then I had a dream. In the dream, my friend and my wife had resumed the affair I thought they had had many years ago. I woke up and told my wife, "in my dream, you were fucking X again." Now keep in mind, I had only confronted her about it once, in 2010, and she had denied it. This dream is in 2018. For eight years, after her denial, I never accused her again. When I said, "in my dream, you were fucking X again," the look on her face, and her failure to quickly deny ever fucking him, told me everything I needed to know. She had fucked him. We both knew we were going to have to have a discussion that included her confession.
It lingered for a month or so before the time was right for that conversation. Ironically, that conversation occurred at our anniversary dinner to celebrate 26 years of marriage. She confessed that night to the affair, and gave up most of the details.
However, partly because of the passage of time and partly because she began to trickle truth me, it was not until six months later, and my efforts to reconstruct the timeline independently with occasional questions to her, that she finally put it all out there. In the mean time, the nagging feeling that even in 2018 my wife was lying to me about fucking my friend was deeply troubling to me. I finally told her that if she wanted to stay married, she had to sit down with me and go through it all until I was confident she had admitted everything. We did that two nights ago.
It's been agony to know that my wife fucked my best friend for about three years, did it under my nose, concealed it for five years, and then slow walked the truth for six months. She's remorseful, she's finally admitted everything as best I can tell, and we are going to try to reconcile. Still, I have moments where I want to find X and make him regret what he did or pack my wife's stuff and put her on the street. I love my wife, and I think we are going to live happily ever after, but it won't be without great effort.
[This message edited by DomesticTourist at 3:07 PM, November 4th (Sunday)]