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How much is too much?

Lsja posted 6/10/2020 15:13 PM

Maybe my story is just like everyone elses. We met in high school and never looked back. He was my only love and satisfied every need within me. We laughed, read others minds, finished each others sentences and rarely disagreed. I thought our marriage was great and he never gave me a reason to think differently. I built my identity through him as we grew and built a life together. I don't have friends to support me. He was my best friend and I didnt see the need for others. I'm an introvert anyway. I feel so alone.

Now I'm 40 years old and my whole world has just crumbled before me. He confessed to an out of control cheating spree that involved prostitution, hitchikers, and random women that he met in parking lots, gas stations, and stores. He asked as many women as he could if they wanted to ride on his motorcycle. I had no clue, there was no unaccounted for time. He hid it so well. He even purchased a secret phone. It's not like it was a momentary lapse of judgment. He planned this stuff.

He said he did that stuff 15 years ago and cut it off cold Turkey because he was overcome with guilt and realized what a good thing he had at home. I can't trust anything he says because he has lied so much. How can I ever rebuild trust in this man?

I love him so much and the pain I feel is crushing. I'm paralyzed with fear of the future. I'm a stay a home Mom and haven't worked in years. My bachelors degree is pretty much worthless because of the major that I chose. We have a young child and I have not a penny to my name. How do I go back to school, try to put food on the table, a roof over my head, and take care of our son?

If I stay then I see myself living in the shadows of this mess. Feeling insecure and bitter. I'm triggered by my thoughts and by driving past the gas stations and parking lots were he had cheap sex. I don't know how to ever let it go. It destroyed me and my self confidence is wrecked.

He is desperate to work it out and is willing to do whatever it takes to fix this. I can't see clearly and my emotions are out of control. I lost 11 pounds in 1 week. My hands keep trembling, I can't sleep, and I cant be a good Mom. I have my second visit with an infidelity counselor this week.

How do I know if the damage done is too much to repair? Would he respect me if I stayed? Would I be able to respect myself?? I don't have time to weigh it out. I'm 40 and have to seriously think about finances--like planning a retirement. Would I ever be able to retire if I'm starting from scratch at this age? I'm so scared of the future that is staring me in the face. I am so scared!!!

TheLostOne2020 posted 6/10/2020 15:36 PM

Lsja

Maybe my story is just like everyone elses.

Probably. I remember coming here and thinking that my story was different. Maybe it was in some minor details....

We met in high school and never looked back. He was my only love and satisfied every need within me. We laughed, read others minds, finished each others sentences and rarely disagreed. I thought our marriage was great and he never gave me a reason to think differently. I built my identity through him as we grew and built a life together. I don't have friends to support me. He was my best friend and I didnt see the need for others. I'm an introvert anyway. I feel so alone.
Now I'm 40 years old and my whole world has just crumbled before me. He confessed to an out of control cheating spree that involved prostitution, hitchikers, and random women that he met in parking lots, gas stations, and stores. He asked as many women as he could if they wanted to ride on his motorcycle. I had no clue, there was no unaccounted for time. He hid it so well. He even purchased a secret phone. It's not like it was a momentary lapse of judgment. He planned this stuff.

That's similar to my story - she went to HS with me, we married after, had a 21 year relationship/marriage, she cheated for five years.

Your very first thing you need to do is get tested.

He said he did that stuff 15 years ago and cut it off cold Turkey because he was overcome with guilt and realized what a good thing he had at home. I can't trust anything he says because he has lied so much. How can I ever rebuild trust in this man?

Cheaters are liars. You have no way of knowing whether or not he's telling the truth. He could have children out there by other women. Has he had counseling? Further, he's lied to you for 15 years.

I don't know how you can rebuild trust. It's painful, I know that you want to reconcile and go back to the way things used to be. The thing is, you can't. Everything is now different and changed.

I love him so much and the pain I feel is crushing. I'm paralyzed with fear of the future. I'm a stay a home Mom and haven't worked in years. My bachelors degree is pretty much worthless because of the major that I chose. We have a young child and I have not a penny to my name. How do I go back to school, try to put food on the table, a roof over my head, and take care of our son?

The second thing you need to do is go to a lawyer. You need to figure out your options. It sounds like he's going to be paying alimony and child support. Also, for the record, my Major is worthless in the field I'm in and I'm making 100 grand. I did this in the last 12 years, after switching careers (from another field that did not use my major). It helps to HAVE a major but not necessarily what that major is in.

If I stay then I see myself living in the shadows of this mess. Feeling insecure and bitter. I'm triggered by my thoughts and by driving past the gas stations and parking lots were he had cheap sex. I don't know how to ever let it go. It destroyed me and my self confidence is wrecked.

I'm really sorry you have to go through this. It is pure pain, gives you trust issues, and hurts your self confidence. It is literally one of the worst things that someone can inflict on another person.

He is desperate to work it out and is willing to do whatever it takes to fix this. I can't see clearly and my emotions are out of control. I lost 11 pounds in 1 week. My hands keep trembling, I can't sleep, and I cant be a good Mom. I have my second visit with an infidelity counselor this week.

Figure out your options. You might realize you don't want to work it out. It might not be fixable. Just breathe. It's like this for the first few weeks. You will get through this. See a counselor.

How do I know if the damage done is too much to repair? Would he respect me if I stayed? Would I be able to respect myself?? I don't have time to weigh it out. I'm 40 and have to seriously think about finances--like planning a retirement. Would I ever be able to retire if I'm starting from scratch at this age? I'm so scared of the future that is staring me in the face. I am so scared!!!


At this point, you don't know if it's too much. That is for you to decide. You have more time than you realize. What you have to think about is whether you can get through this. Whether you love this person - he's not the person you thought he was. He's someone new, someone who was Hell bent on hurting you.

beenthereinco posted 6/10/2020 15:51 PM

He asked as many women as he could if they wanted to ride on his motorcycle. I had no clue, there was no unaccounted for time.

People come on here all of the time and someone will tell them the Wayward needs to have consequences without saying what those are. I've got a consequence for you right now. Tell him to sell the motorcycle and give you the money. Don't tell him you are staying with him, don't decide anything yet but take that motorcycle money and put it away for yourself so you have a little cushion for whatever you decide to do. Put in an account in your name only. Hide it at your parents. Do something to put it out of his reach.

You will also see if he really is willing to do whatever it takes to fix this.

[This message edited by beenthereinco at 3:51 PM, June 10th (Wednesday)]

The1stWife posted 6/10/2020 16:11 PM

You do not have to live in the shadow of his cheating the rest of your life.

You can heal yourself and either D or reconcile or somewhere in between. My H wanted to D me as part of his mid life crisis affair. It doesnít rule my life b/c I do not allow it to. Conscious choice. Part of my healing process.

Maybe a professional counselor to support you is helpful right now. Someone experienced in infidelity can provide you with support and guidance.

Lsja posted 6/10/2020 16:21 PM

Keeping the motorcycle money is a great idea, but he sold it when he supposedly ended the cheating spree and hasn't gotten another one since.

For what its worth I have a polygraph scheduled for next week. Hopefully that will help me know if it truly stopped when he said it did.

ChamomileTea posted 6/10/2020 16:28 PM

How do I know if the damage done is too much to repair? Would he respect me if I stayed? Would I be able to respect myself?? I don't have time to weigh it out. I'm 40 and have to seriously think about finances--like planning a retirement. Would I ever be able to retire if I'm starting from scratch at this age?

Breathe. Deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Just a few good deep breaths help lower the blood pressure and calm the mind.

You DO have time. You have all the time you need to make the decision which is right for you. Half of everything you've got as a family is yours. Visiting an attorney or a financial planner can help ease your fears by giving you an accurate picture of what is financially possible, and you don't even have to make a decision about your marriage to gather that information. You'll want to see your doctor too in order to to talk about stress management. Most of us need a little help to get through the first few months. Self-care is so important at this time and is actually a greater priority than making a permanent decision.

It's okay to put that off for awhile. Allow your physical body to process the shock, work with your IC to see how you feel. Marriages can sometimes recover, and there's no shame in reconciliation if that's what you eventually choose and if your WH is providing what you need. But no cheater is owed a second chance, so if what you discover as you process your feelings is a hard deal-breaker, that's okay too. Your WH had his decision, now it's YOUR turn. There's no timetable and no right or wrong answer.

You're going to be okay. Just concentrate on you and what you need right now to process this shock. In terms of your decision, it's okay to prep both ways, then choose later when you're feeling more confident.

nekonamida posted 6/10/2020 17:27 PM

Good on you for scheduling a polygraph. At this point it is the only way to possibly know if he's still lying or not. Brace yourself for a parking lot confession.

No matter what happens, see a lawyer. D may not be nearly as bad as you think. You would also qualify for financial aid and grants if you go back to school but you may not qualify if you're still married and have to include your WH's income. It's worth looking into and seeing if you can get an Associate's at a community college for cheap that will give you a good starting point for a new career. Online classes would give you even more flexibility. I highly suggest you look into a potential college and have a meeting with an advisor. It really could work out in your favor to leave and get support, alimony, and financial aid for a couple of years than it would be to stay and chance not getting a career started so make sure you get plenty of information before you decide.

Stinger posted 6/10/2020 18:23 PM

There is much more to this confessing out of the blue deal. 15 years go by and, suddenly, he has the need to confess? Not buying it. Something forced his hand to try a pre-emptive confession. Could be any number of things, discovery by another spouse re his wife; a child out there with a mom looking for child support; someone leaning on him threatening to tell etc.

And, you should see a lawyer re alimony, division of assets including retirement funds.

Buffer posted 6/10/2020 19:17 PM

Well said BeenThere.

Lsja posted 6/11/2020 01:17 AM

Thank you for the support and kind words. Its been such a rough day and it helps to hear from others who have been there and can offer wise advice.

The1stWife posted 6/11/2020 03:19 AM

Some suggestions for you.

What helps me tremendously is having a plan B in place. I did not have a solid one before the last affair but I do now. And not just in case of D but in case of illness or death or extended job loss etc.

Financial - you need $ in an account in your own name. Save what you can. Donít spend it. You can tell him or not. I have bank accounts in my name alone. Kids are the beneficiary.

Know whatís in retirement accounts or business accounts etc. understand your life insurance and investments. I revised all our life insurance so I was the account owner and my H cannot change the beneficiary. Ever. Protects me & kids.

Get a support team going for you. Family. Friends. Professional counselor can be very helpful.

Get a job. With many companies shifting to a work from home environment now - it could be in your favor. Iíve been doing it for12 years. Itís worked out well for me and the company.

The thing is you need a life plan.

I can tell you that having my plan B in place greatly reduced my anxiety and stress. And it helped me to know if I decided to leave b/c reconciliation didnít work out that I would be ok.

Lalagirl posted 6/11/2020 04:53 AM

There is much more to this confessing out of the blue deal. 15 years go by and, suddenly, he has the need to confess? Not buying it. Something forced his hand to try a pre-emptive confession. Could be any number of things, discovery by another spouse re his wife; a child out there with a mom looking for child support; someone leaning on him threatening to tell etc.

^^^THIS.

I would have this posed as a question in the polygraph.

kaygem posted 6/14/2020 23:23 PM

My story is very much like yours. My high school sweetheart, my everything, my ONE and ONLY. After 29 years of marriage he went on a cheating spree for 4 years. A total of 4 women met and had ONS's with. But it would have been more if he could have gotten more.

Now, 3 years out from DDay, my former cheating husband is truly a different man. We have reconciled but believe me, it was a PAINFUL and hard road. It is possible. People can change. I too made him take a poly. I sent him a list of 20 questions and told him they were the questions the poly guy was going to ask. It was a lie though, I knew the guy wouldn't ask so many. BUT, I told him if he failed one question it was divorce. Proceedings would start the day after the failed poly.

He passed. I knew he had come clean when I had given him the 20 questions.

Is your H a truly remorseful person now? Is he doing everything he can to help you through this? There can be no healing without that.

We are one of the few that have survived and thrived after infidelity. We believe in God and we believe God has helped us and given us strength. It is possible to heal from this.

MakeMineReal posted 6/15/2020 00:28 AM

I feel so bad for you. I remember the excruciating pain. Something I wanted so badly in the early days of finding out that my whole marriage had been a lie was for someone to just hold me while I cried, until I could cry no more.

My (now ex) husband swore on the bible and on our kids lives that he had told me everything, from the very first d-day to the last, 8 months later.... yes, he knowingly left stuff out, thinking he could confess to the bare minimum, we would get counseling, and "go back to normal". Every time I asked, there was more, and every time he'd insist that he had finally told it all. Every. Single. Time. The d-day 8 months later was only the last because I pulled the plug and said I was done. I know that there was much more, but it didn't matter at that point - I knew I could never trust him again or feel safe with him.

He also had a polygraph, at my insistance, at about 5 months after the first d-day. The polygraph examiner framed the questions in such a way that he was able to pass... Turns out he had cheated throughout our entire relationship, over 31 years, married for 26.

By the time the divorce was final we'd been married just over 29 years. Life is so very different, but I wouldn't trade what I have now: the self-sufficiency and self-confidence, not wondering if he's cheating or not, not being the marriage police, or having what amount to parental controls on our computer and his phone.

As others have said, cheaters lie. They tell the bare minimum, and swear they've told you everything.

If you want to pursue a polygraph, the question that I would insist be asked is: "Is there anything about your sexual history since we've been together that you have not told me?". I learned that too late, but for me it wouldn't have mattered anyways.

It is such an excruciating decision, whether to leave or try to reconcile. The burden is on him, not you, to figure out why he chose to deceive and betray you for so long.

I wish you the very best. And wish I could give you a hug and let you cry, til you could cry no more.

standinghere posted 6/15/2020 02:35 AM

MakeMineReal makes some good points. I'd make my spouse read that posting, if I wanted to reconcile (I didn't make my spouse read that, because I came here two years into reconciliation and because I came here 8 years ago).

You say you are an introvert, I have an entirely new definition of introvert and extrovert since this happened to me.

Introvert = Someone who doesn't need a lot of people to affirm their worth.
Extrovert = Someone who is likely to cheat on their introvert spouse.

Pretty terrible, I know.

Now I'm 40 years old

Which is young still, and there is time to recover, and live. Not sure where you live, but if you are in any of the industrialized modern countries, life expectancy for women is your entire life again.

How can I ever rebuild trust in this man?

You don't know if you can. You have to figure out if you want to, if he is worth it, and if he can remain "worth it" for the long haul. My FWS and I made a good run at this, and despite a lot of good work, nearly divorced two years in, I took off my wedding band, left the family home, met with and told the kids I was divorcing their mother for lying to me, and slept in my office one night, only to come back the next day, tell everyone I'd made one mistake, I wasn't leaving, I wasn't the one that was lying and sneaking around and being dishonest, and told her she could get out, stay, or do whatever, but it wasn't going to be me leaving the home. It took that for me FWS to pull her head out of her ass, yet again, and there were more troubled days to come, years into the future. Reconciliation is hard, the hardest thing I have ever done.

How do I go back to school, try to put food on the table, a roof over my head, and take care of our son?

You can figure that out, if you have to, it will not be easy. However, I will suggest that reconciliation may make that look like a walk in the park.

If I stay then I see myself living in the shadows of this mess. Feeling insecure and bitter. I'm triggered by my thoughts and by driving past the gas stations and parking lots were he had cheap sex. I don't know how to ever let it go. It destroyed me and my self confidence is wrecked. He is desperate to work it out and is willing to do whatever it takes to fix this. I can't see clearly and my emotions are out of control. I lost 11 pounds in 1 week. My hands keep trembling, I can't sleep, and I cant be a good Mom. I have my second visit with an infidelity counselor this week.

Triggers will diminish over time with hard work on yourself. It is not easy. It is something only those of us who have actually been there understand. I had no clue what people were talking about before this happened. You may not be able or even want to "let it go". You have to figure out if he is worth that effort.

How do I know if the damage done is too much to repair? Would he respect me if I stayed? Would I be able to respect myself?? I don't have time to weigh it out. I'm 40 and have to seriously think about finances--like planning a retirement. Would I ever be able to retire if I'm starting from scratch at this age? I'm so scared of the future that is staring me in the face. I am so scared!!!

Yes, you do have time to weigh it out. You have to take that time.

Yes, you can still retire (if it helps, when I was 40 I was completely broke and when I was 50 I spoke to my accountant and said "we only have "x" in retirement" and he said "you are way better off than most people your age", and my retirement account was doing so poorly that I would run out of money in less than 3 years if I had retired then, now I expect to have to work until I am 67-70. You have time to fix that.

So, don't worry about retirement right now, but start putting money aside for that end. Focus on the child, and worry about the father and whether or not he is a safe partner in the marriage, don't rug sweep, or you will find yourself in the same situation in 10 years, when you are 50.

He hid it so well. He even purchased a secret phone. It's not like it was a momentary lapse of judgment. He planned this stuff.

This is the root of the problem, why, who, when, and delving into character deficits that led him there.

Has there been a real change, or is the behavior lurking and manifesting in different ways. My FWS had an affair, broke it off, rededicated herself to the marriage and family, and DIDN'T CHANGE A DAMN THING for over 9 years. She continued to be secretive, manipulative with lies (it is easy to lie and manipulate someone who trusts you without question), and all she really changed was to stop fucking someone else. At one point, she was lying to her IC, lying to me, lying in MC, and lying to her medical doctor...and this was in "reconciliation"

When it all stopped, my wife had to be admitted inpatient in a psychiatric hospital after she really confessed, she had to confess to me, to her IC, to our MC, and eventually to her doctor because she was going out of her mind and couldn't keep track of all the lies.

Just not fucking other people is not enough, there has to be more, much more, to be a safe partner.

The1stWife posted 6/15/2020 08:04 AM

Reconciliation is hard. No doubt about it.

But if it is still ďhardĒ and not much improved after 2 years I would suggest its time to end the relationship or marriage.

If you are not happy why stay together? And donít say for the kids b/c they canít be happy either. Watching two people fighting and arguing is not healthy.

veryhurt2018 posted 6/15/2020 09:10 AM

I just sent you a private message!!

Dismayed2012 posted 6/16/2020 11:31 AM

Sorry to hear about your situation lsja. It's important that you realize that there's no need to make any hasty decisions. Give your head and heart some time, maybe a couple months to sort things out and determine what you're willing to accept. As far as knowing whether to stay or go, that decision will come on its own. It's not something you need to decide immediately anyway. Don't make any promises to your WH. Don't make any quick decisions. If he presses, let him know that you're undecided and that it's going to take a while to process his choices. Always leave yourself an open door so when the answers come to you and you're sure about them, you're not hindered by a promise that you made in haste. Know that his cheating has nothing to do with you. You are not broken and you are not the culprit; he is. Don't worry about losing weight right now; your appetite will return and you're going to be fine. Take care of yourself, exercise, and take naps if you need them. I wish the best for you.

heartbroken_kk posted 6/17/2020 09:00 AM

I also had my identity very wound up with my WS, felt like I had so much invested, but in the end, he disassembled all the parts of my life and took them and gave them so the OW or destroyed them completely. So I had no choice about starting over in my 40's.

If you want to go back to school, YOU CAN! You can start now, you don't have to leave him today but you can start charting the course for your future right now, as if you do plan on leaving. Go down and visit a college counselor, talk about career options today for people re-entering the work force. Talk about what your degree can do for you now to launch your next step.

Start working on your retirement plan. See a lawyer and figure out what you would be entitled to in a divorce, and FILE for D as if you intend to carry through with it. Do it just for the sake of securing the assets that are due to you.

See your doctor for your health, make sure you get a full STD panel, and put together a plan to make sure you are as healthy as you can be, take up exercising, even walking, if you don't already.

As an introvert, I never really felt like going out, and I don't think you need to start a new social life but I do suggest you pick up a class for a hobby that sounds interesting to you. Maybe painting, or gardening, or whatever, and go to the class so that you mingle with other people outside your home. If you can find a course that has teams working together even better. Or volunteer! Go to the park and remove graffiti with a team of park volunteers, or sign up for habitat for humanity or any other service organization that needs volunteers to accomplish their mission. Join, go, meet people.

My point is, focus on yourself and moving forward in life through your own efforts to build your future. You can start this immediately without even knowing what to do about your marriage.

CoderMom posted 6/30/2020 21:34 PM

It is possible to work through the issues, and saving the marriage is worth it, but it will take hard work from both of you. Trust will take time as wounds need to heal and trust will have to be earned. But it is possible. Counseling is a great first step. I've been through having been cheated on by my first husband.

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