Newest Member: Qashess

I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 5:38 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

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.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8646948
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:16 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

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.

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8646955
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trynhard ( member #22698) posted at 11:29 AM on Monday, April 12th, 2021

"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)]

posts: 2881   ·   registered: Feb. 2nd, 2009   ·   location: Indiana
id 8649849
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 2:50 PM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

"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].

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3269   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8656491
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SisterMilkshake ( member #30024) posted at 10:40 PM on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

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

BW (me) & FWH both over half a century; married several decades; children
d-day 3/10; LTA (7 years?)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson

posts: 15429   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2010   ·   location: The Great White North USA
id 8656970
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:03 PM on Thursday, May 6th, 2021

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.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8657144
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 9:05 PM on Thursday, May 6th, 2021

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.

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 116   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
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Marlita ( member #72286) posted at 3:11 AM on Saturday, June 19th, 2021

My D-Day is coming up next week…3 years!

I still cannot get over it!!!

We’re still married, but miserabley so!

I lost my sense of sexuality with him!

I feel like he’s robbed me of that.

I lost my sense of sexual freedom with him.

I’ve lost my sense of self confidence…that he once made me feel that I was the Queen of…

I can’t get over the betrayal…

I feel like a widow, but trapped in a situation where I feel like I have no options!!!

He tries & has changed to try to save our marriage, but as a result, the man that he’s changed into, is not one I would ever marry!

Hot mess express here!

I know the simple facts…either $hit or get off the pot.

But it isn’t that easy.

Any suggestions?

posts: 55   ·   registered: Dec. 13th, 2019   ·   location: Usa
id 8668319
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 1:08 PM on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Marlita,

This thread is a slow one, sorry for no responses. I don't have any answers for you, and only wanted to say that if the change you are seeing in him is into someone you don't want to be with, you do have your answer. My approach for the last year has been to try to ride the waves of emotions as they crash over me, because how I feel is still changing and I'm giving myself time to see what I really feel. It's very confusing. My 3 years from DDay was in April, but since I got new information from the MOW, it did set me back a bit. Because my discovery has trickled out so slowly, I feel like I can't possibly be three years healed, more like still churning in year one or two. At least now I believe I know all there is to know about the affair, or all I need to know. All that is left is learning what is left to learn about him and myself.

Lately, things have been all over the place with us, but we have had a few moments that take me from hopeful to hopeless. We had a long talk and I explained how I have done all the math and the equation balances to him, to us, to staying together. BUT. When he defaults to the behaviors that got us in this mess - defensiveness, resentment, stonewalling - I have to recalculate and the math does not support staying together. Even a small problem now makes a huge difference in the math, and he has to stop giving me any reason to want to leave. My tolerance for disagreement or tension is almost at zero, and he has to accept that he is the cause of that and he has to work twice as hard as I do to redirect or help us make progress. After all I have been through, I just don't want to put up with any more fights or arguing, and I am realizing that love only gets us so far.

You need to keep doing your math, and see what makes sense for you. If you no longer love the person your WH has become, you already know what you need to do. Maybe it is time for you to try a trial separation? Or start reading the posts on those threads for insight. Good luck to you figuring out what next, and finding your way to peace moving forward.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8669092
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Marlita ( member #72286) posted at 4:15 AM on Friday, June 25th, 2021

Whatisloveanyway.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me!

I’m still stuck, for so many reasons!

Feel free to private message me.

I’m a complete mess!!!!

posts: 55   ·   registered: Dec. 13th, 2019   ·   location: Usa
id 8669552
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 12:41 PM on Friday, June 25th, 2021

Marlita I have suggestions. WH had a 4.5 year LTA [1.5 years of that was underground]. And we just had to send a Cease and Desist letter to LTAP because she's been cyber stalking us and trying to reach out to WH for the past 2 years.

Now - my suggestions won't help you in the way you are hoping. They have nothing to do with your relationship or marriage. They have everything to do with YOU. That's all you can control.

Now - tell me. What do you do for you? Because you need to love yourself. You need to date yourself. You need to make love to yourself [no not like that - but hey - if that helps too go for it]. I mean take a long hot shower using your best bath products because you are worth it. I mean using the fluffy towel to dry off with and that whipped body butter you only save for special occasions because you really are your own special occasion. I mean putting on your best sexy undies [yes, the ones usually reserved for date night]. Wear them. Because to me there is nothing more bad ass than a black glittery lacy thong. Do your hair. Why? Because you are worth it. Wear make up [up to you if full on glam or just gloss/mascara]. Look your best because you are worth it. Wear your favorite outfit just to run errands. Because you are awesome. Que up your favorite songs. Read some books of a long ago forgotten author [audio books if the concentration hasn't come back yet]. Go to a paint night with a friend. Go to a wine and cupcake pairing at a local vineyard. Go on a hike at a local park. Get a cup of coffee and wander aimlessly around Target and mentally redecorate your bathroom.

Now - if none of my suggestions above are really you. If you say but Chaos - I LIKE my basic white granny panties and chapstick is as fancy as I get - DO IT. Find what makes you feel bad ass and bullet proof and do it for you. Don't know what that is yet - it OK because figuring it out for yourself is and adventure in and of itself.

Basically - I get it. I really do. Those feelings you have are awful. And really out of control. What you can control is your relationship with yourself. And it a worthy one. Take the time to do it.

Now, I know you are reading this and probably thinking "well duh - how's that going to help me". Girl - give it time and you will be surprised. Eventually one day you'll realize your shoulders don't slump as much. Eventually you'll realized your step is the slightest bit bouncier. Eventually you'll realize that the pain isn't quite as prominent all the time.

Another thing I did for myself - that cost under $10 is get myself a cheap bracelet and on the inside is inscribed "KEEP FUCKING GOING". I wear it on those days where I need the reminder.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3269   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8669654
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Blackthorne ( new member #78797) posted at 3:51 PM on Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Marlita,

You mentioned your husband has changed in the last three years but the person he changes into is not someone you would ever marry. Could you expound on that? My WH has started mentioning things he would like to change. I am I visioning us growing apart during the changes.

posts: 7   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8672334
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Marlita ( member #72286) posted at 4:44 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Blackthorne…are you able to message me privately?

posts: 55   ·   registered: Dec. 13th, 2019   ·   location: Usa
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csaiht ( member #77335) posted at 11:36 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

I guess this thread is for me. My WH had a 9 year long affair that I just found out about 9 months ago. (There were more, but this one has shaken me the most)

I'm so angry I gave so many years of my life to a lying cheater. I'm angry I felt empathy for his childhood trauma and thought one day, if I just be loving and encouraging long enough, he'll want to work on his issues and grow with me so we can create a happy life for our kids.

I'm angry that he was so good at lying and living this double life. I'm angry that I never checked or snooped because I trusted him so completely. All I had to do was look! But I never did. I didn't want to be that kind of person and I didn't want to be in that kind of relationship.

I'm angry that there was one time, at the beginning of his affair, where I almost found out but didn't. I wish so badly I could go back and find out then. I could've saved myself a decade of living a lie.

I wish I could dish out some kind of justice to the AP. She KNEW he was married and encouraged him to leave me and our kids to be with her and her kids (who thinks this is a good idea???)

I'm just so angry about all of it. What a waste. I wanted a happy life, a deep connection, a loving relationship. I wanted my kids to see a happy, healthy marriage. And all I got was a lying cheater.

[This message edited by csaiht at 5:37 PM, July 21st (Wednesday)]

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 70   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677369
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 11:56 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

csaiht - just to FYI, this thread doesn't get a lot of traffic.

When I first joined SI, I had so many of the same feelings as you do.

It just sucks.

Trying to navigate healing from an LTA is, IMO, different than a shorter A. Not saying my (or your) pain is more/less than anyone else, but the loss of YEARS of one's life adds dimensions to the trauma - or I believe it has for me.

I spent most of year 1 in a pretty much 24/7 mode of RAGE. It was rough... and that kind of rage is so hard to offload. It's not good in our bodies... AND its expression (including to our WS) can also be unhealthy. If I could go back and re-do year 1, I'd try to join a kickboxing class, or put a picture of my WH or the POSOW LTA AP on a dartboard and just play darts all the damn time I guess what I'm saying is to try and find ways that work FOR YOU to get some of that anger out of your body.

The other thing I wish I'd been better at in those early months was emotional detachment. Some on SI say if you want to R then you should not detach. I disagree with that. I believe that doing whatever you can to STOP thinking about your WS (or the AP) and start focusing SOLELY on yourself is the best route. If your WS manages to dig in and work on himself, great. If not, you are already on your own healing journey - without HIS effing baggage (trust me, our own baggage is quite heavy enough for us to carry, we don't need to be carrying a cheater's baggage as well, and we CERTAINLY don't need to be carrying the AP's baggage).

So, be angry - that's perfectly normal.

Try not to be too angry at yourself - I still struggle with that shame, with a self talk that goes something like: what kind of an idiot would not see / sense that their spouse was banging someone else FOR SO MANY YEARS? That shame doesn't help me heal... it keeps me stuck.

Self love truly is the path out of infidelity, and there are folks here on SI that can be super supportive of figuring out what that looks like for you (Chaos and her sparky goddess self was one that really impacted me on this front.... giving myself permission to eat the expensive chocolate, or wearing the fancy dress are some examples).

TBH, I still feel pretty confused about the trusting our spouses part of things. One school of thought seems to be that a BS should never punish themselves for trusting their spouse, as that's part of M. But another group seems to say that one thing they learned is to not be so trusting of others, which leaves me super confused. Personally, I have to work to NOT kick myself for trusting my WH, and my particular brand of trauma/PTSD seems to be one that will have to work SUPER hard to trust any other human, so I don't see how folks saying it's a good thing to not trust their spouse/significant other... That's just my particular view, so take what you want and leave the rest behind.

I'm so sorry you are here, and know that SI is here to help.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

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id 8677376
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csaiht ( member #77335) posted at 6:39 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Thanks for the heads up that this thread isn't very active.

Trying to navigate healing from an LTA is, IMO, different than a shorter A. Not saying my (or your) pain is more/less than anyone else, but the loss of YEARS of one's life adds dimensions to the trauma - or I believe it has for me.

I agree. When I first found out about my WH's cheating, I thought it was just one 2-week-long affair. That was bad enough, but I was willing to work through that. After 8 months of false R, I found out there was this 9 year long affair and so much more. This is just devastating and I cannot move forward with our marriage in a way that makes me feel good about myself or any of this at all.

Yes, the YEARS of my life lost and the intentional abuse and deceit that went into it is just unforgiveable.

or put a picture of my WH or the POSOW LTA AP on a dartboard and just play darts all the damn time

Good idea

The other thing I wish I'd been better at in those early months was emotional detachment. Some on SI say if you want to R then you should not detach. I disagree with that. I believe that doing whatever you can to STOP thinking about your WS (or the AP) and start focusing SOLELY on yourself is the best route. If your WS manages to dig in and work on himself, great. If not, you are already on your own healing journey

I agree. I'd gotten that advice as well. But I discovered that I cannot even begin to heal in any way with him here, going about like everything is normal, having conversations, etc. I need him gone and I need to focus on me and begin to heal.

I felt rage and/or deep sadness all the time. I was in a hyper vigilant, detective mode all the time. I was angry and lashing out at him often. I didn't like the person it made me become. I knew I couldn't live like that. So, yes, I think you're right that detaching is necessary.

TBH, I still feel pretty confused about the trusting our spouses part of things. One school of thought seems to be that a BS should never punish themselves for trusting their spouse, as that's part of M. But another group seems to say that one thing they learned is to not be so trusting of others, which leaves me super confused. Personally, I have to work to NOT kick myself for trusting my WH, and my particular brand of trauma/PTSD seems to be one that will have to work SUPER hard to trust any other human, so I don't see how folks saying it's a good thing to not trust their spouse/significant other... That's just my particular view, so take what you want and leave the rest behind.

I'm having a rough time processing this as well. Is it a good thing to trust, or not? I don't think I'll be able to trust anyone ever again. At least not like I once did. And so then, how do you have a relationship like that? I can't figure it out, but I'm hoping it will become clear to me in the future if/when I'm ready for a romantic relationship again.

I've heard the advice "Trust, but verify." And there just isn't a way to verify everything. For example, my WH was cheating at work. He works somewhere where visitors cannot go, so I can't just stop by and surprise him for lunch or something like that. His work has its own internet system and emails and chats, so he could easily be chatting with women all day and I would never know. He could tell me he has to work late and be fucking someone in the parking lot at work (this actually did happen), and I'd never know.

Thigns like that. How do you really ever know if you can't ever verify? You can't, so there must be full trust.

Do I go through his phone periodically? He'll just get better at hiding it. Or use his work phone. Or a burner. And I don't want that kind of relationship anyway. I want to be able to trust!

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 70   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677546
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:44 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

I don't know how to begin to reply except to say I'm sorry for your pain, and I know it well.

Same story, just married longer. Nine year affair, 8 month false recovery, and 8 more months to most of the truth, another year to get to it all. I will never be the same.

Are you divorcing or reconciling? You both have to be all in and ready for a damn bumpy ride if you choose to work on the marriage. You will change in ways you don't see coming. It is a long process, no matter the outcome, so be patient with yourself.

I recommend you read living and loving after betrayal, by Dr. Stosny. It discusses how to stay with a betrayer, and how to differentiate blind trust from wise trust, and what that means moving forward.

Good luck to you. I had a slow awakening to the truth, it came in ugly waves and I'm trying to believe the storm is over and that I can ever know a person with any certainty again in my life. I have a lot of intrusive thoughts, a decade of memories in photos and journals and blogs I can't face right now because I just can't understand the dichotomy of my life, what I believed vs what was happening. My beloved husband turned into a creep and and asshole and he hurt me deeply. He wants to keep loving me and for me to keep loving him, but we both have come close to giving up in year three. This phase is very hard. Realization is setting in, acceptance is necessary but I'm still resistant to accepting that which I don't fully understand.

Do you go through his phone? I do, but I tell him about it now. Just touching it makes my heart rate increase, but he knows all the ways he hid shit from me and he knows I have to see nothing now to believe nothing. I tell him all the ways breadcrumb trails are left on the internet and have shown him everything I have found, because I will have no secrets or sneaking about. He knows I have an urge to check, he knows he created this monster, so I don't apologize. I also know he lied every step of the way to cover his ass, save face and maybe spare me the pain of the truth, so regaining my trust is going to be a slow process, and he knows the loss of privacy is a new baseline for us both. No secrets, nothing to hide. Being nice and trusting got me nothing but more pain.

I am working on understanding me, finding a way to move forward with peace, focusing on my core values and settling for none of the bullshit that colored our lives during and after his cheating. I wish you luck. This place is a blessing and a curse and the best refuge you are likely to find in the lonely parts of your journey. It is longer than you want it to be, and is a test of your patience and your character. Stay strong.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8677585
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csaiht ( member #77335) posted at 11:14 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Are you divorcing or reconciling? You both have to be all in and ready for a damn bumpy ride if you choose to work on the marriage.

I'm sorry you know this pain, too.

We're separating. I tried for months to see if this is something I could work past, but no. I don't feel safe at all, I can't find any peace, I just feel rage and sadness and on alert at all times. I can't live like that. I don't trust him and I know I never will again.

I gave him months to see if he was going to dig in & do the necessary work, but he hasn't. He told me he thought we could just move on since it's all in the past now. He doesn't SEE my pain or my perspective at all.

This has been an issue our whole marriage.

Since he isn't willing to put in the work, there isn't anything else I can do. He says he wants this, but he isn't doing the necessary things to show he wants it. He just thinks "Wow, I'm glad that's all over. Cool, let's move on now!" It blows my mind.

I recommend you read living and loving after betrayal, by Dr. Stosny.

I have read this one! It was so good and helpful I'm actually reading it again right now. He says it's important to heal without your betrayer first, and I think he's right. I just can't find a way to feel safe with my WH here (which makes sense because he is the source of my pain!).

I had a slow awakening to the truth, it came in ugly waves and I'm trying to believe the storm is over and that I can ever know a person with any certainty again in my life. I have a lot of intrusive thoughts,

Same here. I'm having a hard time with the fact that you never really know someone. I'm just hanging on to the knowledge that there have to be others out there like me who want to build an honest, happy life.

He wants to keep loving me and for me to keep loving him, but we both have come close to giving up in year three. This phase is very hard. Realization is setting in, acceptance is necessary but I'm still resistant to accepting that which I don't fully understand.

That's something I've been working consciously on. Accepting reality. Not what I wanted, or hoped, or thought, but what actually is. When I face that, I see that my WH does not care about me and never did, no matter what he says.

Cheating and lying (and everything that comes with it) isn't love. That's been so hard for me to face because it means he not only doesn't love me, but he didn't even care about what this would do to our kids. That's scary, honestly. Everything I do is with my kids in mind. If he didn't care about their wellbeing, or safety, or their mother (me), I just can't see continuing with someone like that. I don't feel like I'd be setting a good example for my kids, and I can't live a happy, authentic life like that.

Facing the reality is HARD though! I want to believe my WH didn't mean any of it, that he really does love me, that we can work this out together, that somehow I can be better and he'll want to invest in us. But it just isn't so.

I figure if we separate and I get the space to have peace and work on myself and begin to heal, and if he does the same and truly grows and changes, maybe we have a chance in the future (although I honestly don't think I'd want it at that point).

Do you go through his phone?

I haven't in a while now, but I used to when we were in false R. I never went through his phone before that, and now I wish so badly I had. All I had to do was look all these years, but I trusted him and didn't want to be that kind of person. Looking at his phone while we were in false R is how I found out about the woman from the LTA.

I would look at his phone, comb through our phone records, match things up, look people up, ask him who people are, etc etc. Just on constant alert and in detective mode. I know you can relate. It was not good for me and I didn't want to keep living like that.

He's a good liar and became an expert at covering his tracks. I know he can do things I'd never know about and lie straight to my face.

I am working on understanding me, finding a way to move forward with peace, focusing on my core values and settling for none of the bullshit that colored our lives during and after his cheating. I wish you luck. This place is a blessing and a curse and the best refuge you are likely to find in the lonely parts of your journey. It is longer than you want it to be, and is a test of your patience and your character. Stay strong.

Thank you, and right back at you. What a shitty place for us all to be, but I'm glad to have others to talk to who know what it's like.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 70   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677601
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 8:58 PM on Friday, July 23rd, 2021

csaiht,

sorry you have kids in the mix, that makes it so much harder. Mine were out of the nest mostly when I found out, and they still don't know, which is hard for me. Harder still to have my WH admit the way I parented frustrated him and he resented me and the affair was his response. Our kids turned out great, despite my parenting style, and I am at least grateful our kids didn't have to experience a broken home like most of their friends.

My H told me this is in his rear view now, the past is for the past. That's a luxury those of us who didn't know what the past entailed do not get. It's in our rear view when it's in mine too, and it is not. I stalk the threads for info on EMDR or any technique to stop the intrusive thoughts or the inability to stop thinking about this all the time. My friends think it is because I never questioned staying, never took time away for myself to heal. I hope it works for you. And I know for all of us, it is never too late to take a break, or see what apart feels like. My therapist told me I can always leave, and that is my worry stone and my leverage now, the ace up my sleeve. I can do anything i want and i'm curious to see what that ends up being.

Also I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that everything gmc says is spot on. There are some kind wise souls here.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8677999
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csaiht ( member #77335) posted at 12:34 AM on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

I stalk the threads for info on EMDR or any technique to stop the intrusive thoughts or the inability to stop thinking about this all the time. My friends think it is because I never questioned staying, never took time away for myself to heal. I hope it works for you. And I know for all of us, it is never too late to take a break, or see what apart feels like. My therapist told me I can always leave, and that is my worry stone and my leverage now, the ace up my sleeve. I can do anything i want and i'm curious to see what that ends up being.

Yes! Any of us can always leave, no matter how long it's been.

For months I tried to see if I could move past this somehow, but the intrusive thoughts, mind movies, and pictures were just too much. And my intense rage I felt toward WH too. Just constant sadness and anger.

The only time I felt even a little relief was when I'd think about separating. I had to face the fact that what I really wanted was time and space away from the source of my pain (WH) to heal. So I'm taking it.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 70   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8680714
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