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Long Term Affairs Part 39

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whatisloveanyway posted 3/31/2021 11:38 AM

Wise, I missed your comment while I was writing my super long one!

I came to the conclusion that she has yet to actually grasp the depth of her betrayal and the corresponding gashes in my heart.

I am right there with you. I feel like after full disclosure, the next most healing thing he could give me is that. He too thought I was happy during his cheating years, despite many conversations and attempts to reconnect to the contrary. In our few worthless MC sessions, after the A had ended but before anyone but him knew it lasted years not months, he was shocked to hear me tell our therapist how lonely and isolated I was in our marriage, having settled for the notion that this is what happens in LT marriages, the desire and intensity wanes but the commitment love and friendship sustain the relationship. I was so busy settling that I set myself up I guess. It only waned because he checked out and gave up on me. To hear him tell it though, he showed up big time, saved the family and the marriage with his MOW workaround outlet.

Anyway, there are gashes, holes and papercuts to my heart and psyche. I had a long sleepless stormy night last night, and the storms were both outside and in my head. I got wondering how many nights they really spent together, as if that even matters, but to my damaged brain it is a missing data set and facts not yet vetted and I want/need to know. I can be certain of maybe a dozen, but I'm sure it is so many more. He travelled almost a third of the year for work and so did her H, so they had so many fun cities to have sex in for their eight "fun and frolics" filled years. I don't think it's unfair of me to want to put the pins in the map of where, and I don't believe for a minute that he can't remember, it's that he can't deal with the consequences of admitting that he still can lie with ease, and the truth keeps messing with the false narrative he's had to write to justify all that has happened in the last decade. I realized last night that my real problem is I just don't believe much of what he says, because he has been unable confess anything without confrontation and because he is still too defensive when I challenge or question the current data set I have. So my inner storm last night was wondering whether to try to get to the truth one more time or give up. I think I know that if I give up on my quest for the truth, I will be giving up on any hope for a meaningful marriage moving forward. I have been obsessed with asking MOW or OBS if they can help me with my data set, but that is such a stupid idea. I've tried to get the truth from MOW three times and each time, lies. I want my timeline and my list of trips they took and I just won't get it. And my sweet kind therapist voice is in my head asking to what end will more data help you? What more could you need to know beyond what you know already to decide how to move forward? He's right, and even more so when he said my personality, my tenacious analytical mind and my OCD are going to be an incredibly hard path for me to walk, the hardest of the BS mindsets to heal.

Well, dear therapist, I would like to know what cities and hotels I would like to avoid on principle. I would like to know that he is capable, finally, of honesty for my sake over deceit for his comfort. I need to know he can see the truth as I see it and can handle the disclosure and honesty and accept the truth about himself and what has happened to us. I have already proven that I can handle the truth and that my love is stronger than the pain of knowing the details, but not strong enough to settle for an effort unworthy of that love.

Thank you for sharing your MC journey with us, it is enlightening and helping me more than you know. Looking for the next installment. I hope it is helpful for you both. Cheering for you from the sidelines.

Wiseoldfool posted 3/31/2021 12:16 PM

I have already proven that I can handle the truth and that my love is stronger than the pain of knowing the details, but not strong enough to settle for an effort unworthy of that love.

This. Is. Exactly. It.

For what it is worth, it took me two and half years of circling back, challenging a claim, teasing out a partial truth, demanding more, and flat out telling my WW that I did not believe the version she had given me. I knew she was lying, in my gut, and she knew that I was right.

We were at an impasse, and I told her that I would not live in her lies. I told her that every secret she was keeping with him and from me was an ongoing affair. I told her she had one more chance to make a full and final disclosure and if when that process was complete I still felt like she was lying, I was done.

We hired a MC specifically to help us with the disclosure. We bought a set of books on the process, one workbook for me and one for her. I gave her a few weeks to get her shit together and we opened it up at MC. She came right out and admitted two things I had long believed to be true. We ran out of time at MC but we picked it up on our own. It took a few hours, but she poured it all out.

I immediately felt a sense of relief. My lizard brain came to rest, right then and there. I heard the truth. None of it was "worse" than I anticipated or even "too much." It was precisely what I had told her I suspected all along, with a couple of wrinkles that were different but "better" in the granular details.

It was worth it to persist.

Now, finally, I can actually wrangle with the fact of the affair as opposed to conducting an endless investigation into the affair.

I hope you can get some relief one way or the other.

trynhard posted 4/12/2021 05:29 AM

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

Somebody wrote this... For my wife it was about herself wanting attention and power.

I have forgiven my wife for her 8-9 year LTA with her boss. She lived the double life, not me. In my case, I was not treated so bad during her A. Reconciliation was not so easy me and lasted at least 4-5 years for me. 2008 and 2009 was brutal for me.

Today, I can say... Hey bad things happen to everyone to some degree. It's my own personal attitude. I get triggered from time to time. The triggers might be something that reminds me of her former lover but they can pass in a a few seconds to last maybe 2-3 minutes. It's no longer painful..

I'm about to be a grandfather with my wife at my side. Our anniversary is tomorrow at 36 years. These past several years my best friend, my wife has been as good a woman as anyone can ask for. We've made some great fun memories in the past 10 years. The joy of having all our kids and family together was now worth it to me. We are both have far more wealth versus a D.

Somebody said not many people R around here. I can agree with that.. because I also realize you can make all that pain go away by finding a new loyal and loving person. I've talked to enough divorced friends that have similar feelings as me

I do pray for those in pain here when I remember.

Peace out.

[This message edited by trynhard at 5:46 AM, April 12th (Monday)]

Chaos posted 5/4/2021 08:50 AM

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

They are both fantasy. And in WH case became a toxic dance.

The only thing in their LTA that was real was me [and perhaps OBS but I can't speak for him].

SisterMilkshake posted 5/5/2021 16:40 PM

@trynhard Wow! Haven't seen you in these parts for years. Hi! Glad you are your wife are doing well.

whatisloveanyway posted 5/6/2021 10:03 AM

Hello trynghard, thanks for your insight and for checking in and sharing your wisdom.

To my LTA buddies, I'm back for a confessional. Been working on this post for three days. Blown away by the LTA posts on the other forum. Not sure I have words for them yet.

I did a thing I knew I should not do, and tried for days (months!) to stop myself but I spiraled and I caved. I wrote to the MOW for clarification of dates and locations, a mini disclosure. I begged, I tried to stay nice, appeal to claims of being a kind and caring person, and admitted I was becoming obsessed with her, which I truly have. I can't stay off her pinterest or etsy or instagram and I just found out that fb is searchable for photos of people, and even though she deleted her profile, poof, up came so many more I had not seen, spanning the full 8 years.... or so I thought. She answered me, and gave me the start and end dates for the affair. The end I knew, since I did it. The start I had wrong, by a full year. So it's a nine year LTA, is that a whole lot worse than an eight year one? I don't think so.

She also shared with me all the trips they took, which was the brain worm eating me alive. My clueless WH kept asserting there were no more, none to know, but he forgot trips to three states I did not know about. They were all his business trips and she paid her way there, mostly.

I was pretty sidelined, but after two days of interrogations and discussions and lots of crying here is what I think. My husband was not lying to me about the length of the affair on purpose, he is terrible with dates and whether something started the summer of 2010 or 2009 isn't something I would expect him to remember. The trips, however, he claims not to remember, and although his memory is really bad, I think a smarter path for him would have been to admit there may have been/were likely more, but memory is fuzzy. Instead he doubled down on no, none, only a handful of overnights. So do I feel deceived and lied to all over again? A little. Mostly I feel disappointed in him for failing to disclose three years ago when I ended the affair, I'm sure he would have remembered more then. But that failure to provide a timeline and my unending insane need to know led me to my final unfortunate exchange with his MOW.

I know I should not have. I KNOW. I know it would change nothing. I heard my therapist in my head for days, asking what would more data change, but to me, the when and where were all I actually NEEDED to know and I could not stop and so now I have my answers.

What did I accomplish? A year of pictures I thought were before became during the affair and are now in the pile of things I'd rather not look at for a while. I feel vindicated that that gut feeling that there was more was something I could trust, and I know that when details or facts don't make sense there is a reason. Mostly I learned that I have a long way to go to reach acceptance, and I will need to keep working on myself to stop any further humiliating wastes of my time with her. I will say since our exchange, I have a huge drop in the intrusive thoughts of them together, and it does help that is was less states/trips than my imagination, and since she answered me, I have not looked once for her online. This is a new record. So, I guess I got some answers and some peace. And a few more shades of pain and sadness. So very very sad, to think about nine of thirty five years of marriage being violated with so many secrets. I'm working on letting that go.

We have finally had some of the conversations I need to have, and I think I have expressed my boundaries and expectations firmly and clearly. I think I understand some of the reasons my WH has behaved the way he has, and I am learning how to understand how he thinks and help steer us to more productive discussions, because we will have them or I will leave. I made myself clear. He's been an inept reconciler so far, and he has work to do to help repair the mess he made.

I get it now, until I am ok with myself and all my baggage, I will struggle with being ok with what has happened to my marriage. But I feel like I am approaching the future now with a better vantage point and the right mindset, since at least I feel like I have the truth now. I can only hope.

Anyway, that's my update. It sucks, but I can find the good in it too. I hope this isn't the beginning of another one of those rollercoasters, where I convince myself I'm better and then crash. I'm trying to stay strong.

Wishing you all peace and sending gratitude that you are here and sharing and offering support.

CuriousObserver posted 5/6/2021 15:05 PM

whatisloveanyway

Before one can build (or rebuild) one must sweep away all of the sand until you reach a foundation of rock upon which construction can begin. To reconcile you have to know what you are reconciling with. Truth is foundational.

One thought I would add is that when we go looking for the truth we should remember that it looks different depending on the viewer's resolution or magnification of what is being viewed. Your WH may just see the A while you see the myriad of lies and choices of betrayal, texts, gifts, phone calls, cities, states, hotels etc. There is no limit to the level of detail that can be exposed by magnification and at some level of resolution everyone's memory will fail. When that happens it does not mean further deception. What is important is that you determine what level of detail is necessary for you to move forward.

and I am learning how to understand how he thinks and help steer us to more productive discussions, because we will have them or I will leave. I made myself clear.

It sounds like you may have finally reached that level. I wish you all the best.

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