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Long Term Affairs Part 39

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Wiseoldfool posted 3/1/2021 19:31 PM

I am the betrayed. My wife had a LTA (three years long) with a close family friend that began a decade ago and ended about seven years ago. I found out three years ago, but I didnít get the ďfull and final disclosureĒ until late in 2020.

I donít suffer the meltdowns described above, but I do wind up ďcircling the drainĒ periodically where I feel like I canít do this, I canít reconcile, I canít make this work. The frequency of these bouts of dismay is about every six to eight weeks. In between, I have good days and some times even a great day with her.

Itís a terrible struggle to know that for so long she held me in such contempt and loved another man with all her heart. I carry a lot of resentment for the way she treated me during the affair, for the fact he has escaped with no consequences, and for the fact she lied to me for so long after the fact of the affair was discovered.

Not sure how any of that helps but to say, ďI feel your pain, too.Ē

Keepingit2gether posted 3/9/2021 11:56 AM

My WH and I are currently on the path to D after his almost 3 year LTA. I was totally blindsided because at home, around family, and on social media I was ďthe love of his lifeĒ, but as soon as shit hit the fan he decided there was no point in reconciling. Although it hurts, I am coming to terms with it. However, I am curious...has anyone here had an apologetic EXWS?

Iím just wondering if one day, even if itís years down the line, he might realize that his relationship with our kids wasnít fractured because of me and he didnít cheat because of me. I wonít hold my breath, but I see a lot of ďthey always come backĒ and I was thinking about whether they come back to apologize in the majority of cases or not.

I know two ex bfs I had as a teen did try, but I kindly sent them back on their way and I know I apologized to an ex for our fallout a decade or so ago (I was married and not interested in a relationship with him, I honestly just wanted to clear my conscience). Maybe Iím too naive; I guess I imagine that most people who have wronged others eventually have their come to Jesus moment. Do waywards in LTA ever get there?

gmc94 posted 3/9/2021 13:27 PM

KeepingIt:
Marriages that have successfully Rd after a LTA are very far & few between here on SI... I can only think of less than a handful off the top of my head (and I've been here 3 years).
So, SOME WS that had LTAs seem to be able to "get it" and work their arses off enough to get to R. But it sure seems the VAST majority don't (and my own WH is no exception).

TBH, the bigger issue is why do you care? How would your WS getting/owning it, post divorce, help YOU in your healing journey?

Keepingit2gether posted 3/9/2021 14:40 PM

TBH, the bigger issue is why do you care? How would your WS getting/owning it, post divorce, help YOU in your healing journey?

GMC, I am hopeful that heíll get to a place of remorse/contrition because I shared half of my life with him. We had been together since about 18 (on and off at the beginning) and I thought I knew him. We also have two children together and the optimist in me wants to think that he is not genuinely this shitty person.

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it wonít help my healing, however, it would be nice to hear him say HE sucks as a person and that he did this because he is messed up, not because I made him do it. Honestly, I refuse to even talk to him after the way things went down and it saddens me to imagine my sonís graduation next year (as well as other events we should both be able to attend) and think about how I hope with every fiber of my being that he doesnít attend or that he does and has a miserable time.

I guess my defense mechanism is to try to hate him since he feels no remorse for what he has done and I hate living that way, but at the same time, I canít just forgive when there hasnít been an apology. I canít be the bigger person anymore.

[This message edited by Keepingit2gether at 2:42 PM, March 9th (Tuesday)]

whatisloveanyway posted 3/10/2021 09:37 AM

Wise, thanks for checking in. Isn't it so disorienting to look back at what you were sure about in your life and realize how distorted is is by the truth? I spent almost a year thinking I was dealing with a brief affair that ended a decade ago, then half a year thinking it was really a 3-4 year affair that ended 3-4 years ago, when I found a current email and scared her away, then another half a year to find out that they have continued the affair after I found out, and I believed every lie I was told every step of the way. I am confounded by so many things, that I didn't understand what was happening for a decade, that I wasn't smarter or more suspicious at each discovery, that I had such a blind spot for him and had so much of myself invested in the story of us.

If I have gotten anything positive from this, it is knowing that I deserve more space in my own life story. And maybe nice guys do finish last, so quit being so nice all the time.

The lies leave the worst scars I think. I am honest to a fault, and I've raised my kids to speak their minds and tell the truth, because I grew up in a house of secrets that only hurt everyone and honesty is the best policy...It's ironic that I was so invested in living my own morals that I assumed my WH still shared them. Assumptions are termites, aren't they?

It always helps to hear me too. Thank you.

whatisloveanyway posted 3/10/2021 09:51 AM

Keeping, I don't have an EXW but I have one that doesn't do apology well or guilt, or shame or remorse. He's not designed to handle many emotions, and I got the whole rainbow.
Yours seems still in the early fog stages, with his head up his ass. There is not blame for you here, this isn't about you, its about him. Check out the Healing library on the front page. I found this article early on about W admitting it, getting it, owning it and living it... Where is your WH on the timeline? I'm not sure he can get there or that if you choose not to R that it matters.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid615240&AP21

It is extra complicated that you have to share kid events and I hope you find a way to co-exist without stress for you or the kids. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for him to come around, I think you would be best served looking ahead to life with a new focus on you and your family. Get help and support from friends and family, online, counseling. Don't suffer alone. Take care.

Wiseoldfool posted 3/10/2021 10:42 AM

What is love,

Yes, It is so disorienting, perhaps more so for me because my career - for thirty years - has been about ferreting out the facts and dealing with them, good or bad. It never occurred to me that I could be missing the most obvious affair right under my nose for three years. Huge blind spot caused by implicit trust that there were two people on the planet who would never do that to me. I was wrong.

Quick timeline:

Wife, her eventual AP, and I are best friends/roommates in college. He is in our wedding. He is our sonsí godfather. We were married twenty years before the affair began, heíd been part of our family longer than that.

She begins an affair with him in 2010. I find evidence of at least emotional affair, confront them, they deny physical affair but admit they had been too intimate by text and email. I tell them I have assumed the worst, including sex, but I forgive them anyway. I tell them to get back in their lane and behave.

The affair continues until 2013. He disappears from our life after she breaks it off.

She confesses, under questioning, in 2018, to the true nature of the affair and itís beginning and ending.

She trickle truths out the actual details for the next two and a half years. Finally in November 2020 she comes clean. Not surprising, there was more sex than she had wanted to admit.

So here I sit, trying to reconstruct the past decade of my life, trying to figure out what it was, what it is, what it could be.

Today, my wife is ashamed, remorseful, and all in for reconciliation. Sheís done everything I asked (finally) and she finds ways to make amends.

But the scars will never heal fully.

I know I will never trust anyone with my heart again. I will never go all in for or with another person, not even her, again.

She stole that from me. We could have been the fairy tale from the prom to the grave happily ever after couple, but my two best friends decided to shit on that story for three years.

So, I feel your pain. I hope you get some relief.

whatisloveanyway posted 3/10/2021 16:06 PM

Wise,

We have much in common, except my WH's MOW was a stranger to me, I'm not sure how I would have handled the double betrayal or having to unpack all that you have.

I wonder, how long the journey to remorse took your wife. My H is still in his shame cycle and my need to talk makes him very uncomfortable. I truly need him to own what he did and to let my pain seep in because he spent so much energy on avoiding his own discomfort and spinning damage control that the extra damage to me is palpable.

We both share an excruciating discovery timeline that took too long to come to light. My greatest personal fear has always been being the last to know, being out of the loop, or just being stupid. I got all that and more. In Cheating in a Nutshell they talk about Elizabeth Edwards, and as smart as she was, she had a blind spot and was like a toddler trying to reason her way to the truth about her husband. I related to that very much. Trust ruins intellect, instinct and intuition I guess.

I believe exactly what you said, that I will never believe in true love again or trust fully with my heart, and he took my happy ever after story from me as well. I know one thing, though. I loved hard and true with my whole heart. I thought it was deserved, and returned in kind but I was just a fool in love with a damaged person.

Like you, I do research for work and for fun, and I do genealogy, memory books, blogs, journals, and I have a tiny special journal of just us, I started when I met him in 1983, and updated faithfully until DDay. I went back to 2010 and penciled in the arrival of his girlfriend and have added to our trips and adventures the ones I know they took together, and I'd bet my life there is much more he won't disclose. I have marked my discovery dates in there and I have about 20 journal pages spanning their relationship that I have clipped together and I do not want to look at yet. I feel nauseous just glancing back at the years of false memories.
I made him sit with me and add in the things we have done since I ended their affair, and we have been busy, but not busy enough to help me forget. My little book has about 20 pages left and when it's full, maybe it goes up in a funeral pyre, I don't know. It used to think it was a treasure I'd leave my kids, but now it is ruined for that.

I'm not sure what to do with this lingering sorrow and disappointment. He claims to want to spend the rest of his life making it up to me, living the dream we had planned for ourselves. But I know that he would have easily continued his charade with me, happily married man with a mistress and it makes me sick to think of the continued deception had I not found my first clue.

Thanks for the me too's and good luck in your healing. We walk similar paths. I don't think I will ever let go of trying to reconstruct my past, because I will never have all the answers I need to do it, or a partner willing to get me there. I hope our good enoughs are good enough.
Take care.

Chaos posted 3/11/2021 09:35 AM

Guess who had to send a Cease and Desist order against that Donut Whore of a LTAP - for creating fake profiles and cyberstalking WH?

This BASGU that's who.

I don't know what end is up.
I don't know how to count [4.5 LTA - or do I count 6.5 because of all the cyber stalking - does it even fucking matter].

Going on about the business of being my BASGU self but DAMN it fucking hurts.

Why don't they just let it go!

PS - yes - she is still with OBS and yes I blew that shit up when I found it. She told OBS "it wasn't her fault really she just wanted to get him addicted to her again then tell him to fuck off because she hates him" After the Cease and Desist was received she changed her story to "he found my fake profile with fake name and liked all my stuff but then unliked it to hide the evidence and I was really the victim here"

So...after 2 years of healing and being in a good place back on the roller coaster.

gmc94 posted 3/11/2021 20:11 PM

Oh shit, Chaos. Damn mother effing donut whore.

I'm so sorry. ((((Chaos, the BASGU of SI))))

ETA: How you holding up? How is WH supporting you?

[This message edited by gmc94 at 8:12 PM, March 11th, 2021 (Thursday)]

Sofarsogood posted 3/12/2021 09:01 AM

So Chaos, what is your FWH saying about this? I know you had mentioned in past posts that you thought AP might crawl out of the woodwork when you became empty nesters. I hope he is staying true to your reconciliation, and still realizes the gift he has in you!

Chaos posted 3/12/2021 09:44 AM

I am holding up as to be expected. Not my 1st rodeo with the Donut Whore [DW].

WH is being as supportive and empathetic as he can. While DW was screaming at OBS for talking to me [and sending proof of this shit] WH was encouraging me to communicate with him to share information. IN fact, when I discovered it I told OBS before WH and his first response was "tell her husband" Since this happened over a weekend - that Monday WH contacted attorney to get the Cease and Desist - told his whole story back to DDay1 and stressed how off the rails DW could go.

He's supported me losing my shit, melting down and trying to stoically hold it all together. He's trying to do the WH dance of knowing when to comfort and when to give space.

He did lose color when he realized just how deep her stalking of us went. Example - for 20 years they've always gone to the same vacation spot. BUT this year - they are going to OUR vacation spot - one we have been going to post DDays. She had to have created more fake profiles to look at our social media. Both WH and OBS were physically ill when they realized that. WH actually says he feels victimized in a way over the evidence of her cyber stalking and OBS for realizing she played him into going someplace so she could feel closer to WH. What a sick fuck of a Donut Whore.

I did break off talking to OBS shortly after the Cease and Desist was received. DW story changed yet a-fucking-gain. I responded with asking if he got the letter. Yes - good. I'm sorry it had to come to this OBS. But I sent you proof of what I have. I'm sorry DW's story keeps changing - send me proof of what she says this time [and every other] and I'll get to my attorney - or to send it to him directly. Otherwise - sorry it came to this - you have my number God Forbid and/or you need me to testify in a divorce proceeding.

If he wants to rugsweep that's on him. If he want's to believe her lies that's on him. IF he wants to tell me he sees teal and purple dragons flying in the sky - enjoy the view.

But - the only thing I can say is for 2 weeks I kept saying I was a trainwreck. Now I say I'm under re-construction.

Sofarsogood posted 3/12/2021 14:56 PM

I'm glad your FWH realizes what a psychotic fruitcake this woman has turned out to be. If she doesn't back off, you can always file some sort of restraining order. It's so sad that it takes actions like this to make a wayward realize what they've caused by making the choices they made. So sorry that this effects your whole family. Keep your chin up and stay true to yourself!🤗

Chaos posted 3/16/2021 11:13 AM

Had my annual physical today. MY GP [who knows the story] knew something was up. She renewed my Rx for anti-anxiety meds. UGH.

I don't take them regularly. Just when a really bad trigger, etc. happens. That previous Rx had lasted me 2 years. I had several left. Until this shit started again. Now, I'm down to 2. So...more Rx for me.

I'm somewhat relieved and somewhat resentful. I have to do this because of that Donut Whore. Any healing I'd done in the 2 years post last DDay has just been blown to smithereens and I resent it.

OH - I'm still a BASGU [bad ass sparkly goddess unicorn] but one that's been bleeding out due to a thousand papercuts. I'll heal. I'll get up. But I'm so exhausted.

Enough whining. Even teleworking today, I'll go put on my sparkliest lipgloss and get back to business.

gmc94 posted 3/16/2021 16:30 PM

Any healing I'd done in the 2 years post last DDay has just been blown to smithereens
Girl! Resent all you like (Heaven knows the DW has given plenty to resent), but you and I both know that the "any" part just ain't true

You got knocked off the healing horse, but I have every reason to believe your BASGU self will get back on it and up to a gallop. Rest up on resentment (and chocolate and sparky stuff) as long as you need. And if you need a hand up to get back on the horse when you are ready, we'll be here for ya.

Chaos posted 3/17/2021 07:51 AM

Thank you gmc. From the bottom of my sparkly heart.

I'm tired. Just so tired. I want a nap and a blanket.

I'll get up and ride magically again. I promise. Sadly - this isn't my 1st rodeo. It sucks because it hurts just the same and will take just as long.

Right before this - the word "forgiveness" kept coming to me over and over in my head. The burden of pain had lifted from my shoulders. Then BAM! Pelted with stale donuts.

I'm in the "self pity" stage. It will end, this I know. Back on that roller coaster from hell again. Front row seats.

ETA - and the POLF again. I'm really not looking forward to traversing that again. Having done both a few times already, I dread the POLF more than the roller coaster really.

[This message edited by Chaos at 7:52 AM, March 17th (Wednesday)]

Wiseoldfool posted 3/17/2021 13:50 PM

I wonder, how long the journey to remorse took your wife. My H is still in his shame cycle and my need to talk makes him very uncomfortable. I truly need him to own what he did and to let my pain seep in because he spent so much energy on avoiding his own discomfort and spinning damage control that the extra damage to me is palpable.

Itís hard for me to say, because like you I didnít know when the affair began or ended for many years after it had happened. In retrospect, I think she actually became remorseful during the affair and broke it off as a result. Looking back, there really wasnít any reason for her to break it off except that she decided she wanted to be married and that she did not like the choices she had made.

Her "good conduct" began pretty much when the affair ended and he got out of our lives. With the exception of withholding the truth and then trickling out the truth over so long, she became a great partner. In her mind, when she ended the affair she committed to telling me the truth if I ever asked. It turned out she found that much harder than she had anticipated. She gave up the fact of the affair and its beginning and ending dates immediately. Where she got tripped up by fear and shame was disclosing the gory details.

So she had a bad habit of shame spiraling in the face of my questions. She would shut down, go into self-pity mode, and trigger my "KISA" mode to protect her from herself. We broke that pattern eventually, and sheís been great about sitting with me and dealing with it directly. That is a huge improvement over the trickle truth and shame spiraling that preceded it. It took her hearing podcasts and experts on the subject for her to realize that her withholding the terrible truths from me was actually hurting me, not protecting me. I had been telling her that for a long time, but she couldnít hear it until she heard it from someone else.

Good luck in your journey.

Merti posted 3/18/2021 14:18 PM

I read that affairs are generally based on fantasies. But I am confused by LTAs. Are they more real than short term affairs?
In my case, I am thinking that my H used my confusion and heartbreak that numbed me to continue his A, which is going on longer than a year. I could not take action right away. When I finally put myself together and forced him to go live with AP, he told me he doesnít want to live with her. He keeps telling me that. He would come home drunk every evening and tell me he has not eaten anything (I only cook for myself and do nothing for him, I donít even talk to him). Even though it is an LTA, infact it was part time, and lots of drinking involved. There is no such life that is all about drinking only, so I still see it as a fantasy and I critize myself that I should have left him months ago to burst his fantasy. I might have contributed to this LTA by not being more assertive.
I would like to hear your thoughts.

gmc94 posted 3/18/2021 15:15 PM

I might have contributed to this LTA by not being more assertive.
Nope.... bc you can NOT control another person. NOTHING about his choice to have an A, continue an A, be drunk, etc is w/in your control. Those are his choices.

I critize myself that I should have left him months ago to burst his fantasy
Also implies that you can somehow change to control him, which you can't.

So - this strikes me as simultaneously (a) thinking you are somehow responsible for his CHOICE to cheat - and to continue cheating and (b) thinking you can control him by your behaviors.

And this makes sense - many of us do that for some period of time, bc we think that if we could have done x or y or z, then (a) it would not have happened and (b) [maybe more importantly] we can make sure it never happens again. And I suppose those are the fantasies of the BS. The reality is that the only thing we can control is ourself. If someone wants to cheat, they will. And they don't do it (and esp don't do it for a long time) bc we don't provide enough sex, or love, or support, or whatever. They do it bc they want to, bc they are weak, bc their values are for shit, their coping is for shit, and a whole host of other potential "whys" (which are really more bologna, bc the bottom line is they cheated bc they wanted to and they thought they could get away with it and they were willing to risk everything the M provides).

Are affairs fantasy? Sure. And they are also real - bc they aren't just thinking about the side sex, they are DOING the side sex.

TheLostOne2020 posted 3/18/2021 15:24 PM

Merti

I read that affairs are generally based on fantasies. But I am confused by LTAs. Are they more real than short term affairs?

I don't think so. The elements are still in play; you only deal with the person in very specific engagements. You aren't living with them day to day. They are only sex outlets and ego-stroking outlets.

In my case, I am thinking that my H used my confusion and heartbreak that numbed me to continue his A, which is going on longer than a year. I could not take action right away. When I finally put myself together and forced him to go live with AP, he told me he doesnít want to live with her. He keeps telling me that. He would come home drunk every evening and tell me he has not eaten anything (I only cook for myself and do nothing for him, I donít even talk to him). Even though it is an LTA, infact it was part time, and lots of drinking involved. There is no such life that is all about drinking only, so I still see it as a fantasy and I critize myself that I should have left him months ago to burst his fantasy. I might have contributed to this LTA by not being more assertive.
I would like to hear your thoughts.

First, none of this is your fault. Your action or inaction is no excuse for his behavior. So, no, you didn't contribute to anything. That's his poor behavior, poor integrity, and all that.

My ex had a 5 year affair and I left within a few months of finding out. I left in June. My ex assured me that what her an her AP had was a 'true relationship'. Yet he blocked her on everything and went no contact with her in December (supposedly).

You deserve a lot better than how your husband has treated you. You were dealing with your own trauma of discovering the affair. You needed to focus on healing yourself. So, no, you didn't contribute anything to his poor decision making.

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