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How do you get past the pain of betrayal?

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/17/2020 18:06 PM

I recently found out that my wife of 2 years has been in an sexual/emotional affair with a old college crush for over a year (possibly longer). To make matters worse, we’ve been in a dead bedroom since the end of engagement.

We went to couples counseling and it failed. We could never get to actual intercourse. She still offered duty oral to pleasure me though. I was seriously considering getting out soon if she didn’t get help about the sex problem. As for her affair, she didn’t mention it once during couples counseling.

She went her AP's house for sex when I was at work or with friends. She invited him over to our house, and let him play my PS4. I also found out that she had a pregnancy scare. I'm also confident that her mom was aware of the affair, as she knew they were "hanging out" for some time. The entire time, I believed that the dead bedroom resulted from anxiety, and boredom on her end. We’ve been separated since I found out about her cheating.

At first, she constantly tried apologizing and sweet talking me. She said that she wouldn't be able to live with herself for a long time. She kept telling me that she loved me, and would have came clean after getting some individual counseling. After I filed, she became angry and said she thought we would work it out.

*BONUS* A couple of years ago, I also caught her sending flirty messages to an old friend who moved across the country. She denied that it went further than that. I told her to break it off with him. We eventually worked it out. After D-Day, I found out that the old friend apologized for ghosting her. She never blocked him after all. He also thanked her for the nudes she sent him back then.

After finding out that she won’t be entitled to any premarital property, she became an entirely different person. She yelled and cursed at me, smiled when I was getting worked up, and blocked me on all social media. It is all starting to get real now. Our nice little house is now empty, yet still full of lies. I keep having feelings of sadness about the end of our marriage. I am very angry that she managed to lie and manipulate me this whole time. My needs went unmet the entire marriage while she had her fun. Despite our problems, I loved our companionship. I would’ve done anything for her.

I've been struggling with thoughout the process of annulment. I get caught up in our good memories. Then in turns to disbelief, then anger. Next I wonder if she is regretful of her behavior. I know I deserve much better. Will I find better? Will I ever be happier than I was with my STBX? Sometimes it feels like I'm doing the wrong thing to divorce.

[This message edited by ColdChickenNugge at 7:20 PM, August 17th (Monday)]

phmh posted 8/17/2020 18:18 PM

I promise you that you will get past this, you will find a fabulous lady, and some day you will be so grateful that you didn't waste any more time on your WXW.

I'm closing in on 9 years out from my completely unexpected D-Day. I contemplated suicide, as he was my soulmate and I was certain I'd never be happy again. I also contemplated taking him back when he begged me to give him another chance, and I am grateful every single day that I had enough self respect to decline.

I spent some time alone, focused on my career (lost my job right around D-Day; started somewhere else - got some certifications, huge promotions, etc.), focused on making friends, and turning my life into what I wanted it to be. Met a fabulous, honest partner, bought my dream house, etc.

How do you do it? Time, but also what you do with the time. I did a bit of IC, which was helpful. I read a ton of books, as that's how I process things. I worked out like crazy. I tinkered with a few different hobbies. It's a bit more challenging now due to social distancing, but try to do things with friends. When you're ready to get out there again, read "The Science of Happily Ever After" - you can probably get it from your library. If you are not healed enough and begin dating, you will find yourself with someone as bad as or even worse than your ex, as that feels comfortable to you.

Start making your life into one that you want to live, and that will attract quality ladies. You will also learn to look out for and heed (as opposed to excuse) red flags. You've got this - you're in the worst part right now, but it's so worth it!!!

99problems posted 8/17/2020 22:42 PM

Dude, how could it be worse than what you already went through?
It won't be.
You are worth more than that. I don't even know you and I can still confidently say that.
There's nothing special about our cheaters. A dime a dozen. We gave them their special status in our heads and we can take it back.
They will never know what they lost until it is far too late.

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/17/2020 22:54 PM

[This message edited by ColdChickenNugge at 11:49 PM, August 17th (Monday)]

HalfTime2017 posted 8/18/2020 13:12 PM

Well it certainly can't get any worst. She was basically cheating the entire time from the time of your engagement and throughout the marriage.

When reading thru your original post, I get the sense that maybe the reason you had a dead bedroom was because she was already out fucking everyone else, and when it came time for you, there wasn't anything left in the tank. Its no different than the husbands that spend all their time watching and masterbating to porn, and they are so dulled out, they can't get it on with their wives. She had nothing left for her husband, b/c she gave it all away to everyone else. That is my guess as to why you had a dead bedroom, unless you have something else to share. If she was giving you BJs, then it wasn't an ED issue.

As for getting over it, you're going to live with this pain for the rest of your days. It will get better, and you'll eventually not have to see/hear/feel it daily, hourly, but it will still lurk in the background. Use it to improve yourself, and to be a better picker in the future. You will eventually find someone else.

This chick is showing you who she really is now that you served her. She is vile, mean, a cheater and her Mom even knew something was up and didn't discourage it. I suggest you get out now. No property, no kids. This lady, who is bent from knowing you're not sharing in your premarital assets is the same lady that will take you to the cleaners if you guys had kids and married for 10 yrs. The Universe has given you a sign. Take it dude, and don't look back. Yes, you will feel sad, and you will miss who you thought she was, but realistically, even if it doesn't feel like it now, you FUCKEN DODGED a HUGE bullet.

Don't ask her anymore or try to learn anymore about her cheating, it won't help you heal. Finish up the D, and move on. You've already filed the papers, NC, 180 and wrap it up.

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/18/2020 13:31 PM

In counseling, she would say the reason for our deadbedroom was because she was anxious about sex. We tried the counseling exercises, but never could get to actual sex. She said she was also bored with our lives, and lost attraction to me because of it. I tried scheduling vacations, working out more, and having more surprise date nights. Nothing. I was doomed from the start. I thought I was being a patient and understanding person. I'm so angry I wasted all this time and money.

HalfTime2017 posted 8/18/2020 13:58 PM

CCN, unless your WW gets IC help, she's going to be this way with anyone else she is with in the future. If a girl tells you she is bored, I'd say run for the hills.

Emotionally mature and stable adults don't blame others for being bored. Does that make sense? How do we all learn to cope with boredom when we were younger, you learn to explore your passions, have hobbies and a sense of self. The I'm bored shit is someone who doesn't have the maturity to self cope, and doesn't have a sense of self. If she is dependent on others to get her out of boredom, that is trouble. She needs to fix that herself with IC, its not your job.

See, you tried all types of things in your mind to fix that boredom, but she was already screwing someone else, so she wasn't bored, it was just you. She learned to cope this way throughout your relationship. If you stay with her, it'll be the same shit 3-4 yrs from now. What happens after you have kids and she's stuck taking care of the kids, laundry, meals and sports. She's gonna get bored and run off for sex with another stranger? You're better off without her. You are hurt, so you don't see that now. Give it some time. Focus on the 180, and wrap up the D.

Thumos posted 8/18/2020 13:58 PM

anxious about sex with you but apparently not with a man she had sex with for two years? You see how that doesn't add up very well.

MakeMineReal posted 8/18/2020 14:12 PM

It WILL get better. If...

If you get some counseling to help you understand why you accepted crumbs in your marriage, why you fell for the (now obvious) lies and gaslighting.

Don't be too hard on yourself for not knowing what you couldn't know because she was a liar and a fraud. You are one of the lucky ones - you found out before you spent years/decades with a cheater, before you had kids together, before you tied up all your assets with her. Ask me how I know... I spent over 30 years with someone who had been cheating the entire time. He put on such a good show (everyone thought he was almost perfect), and came up with such plausible explanations when I questioned some things that just didn't feel right. Believe me, I felt so stupid when I started finding out the truth. But I loved him. Well, the person he pretended to be. And we had children, memories, joint assets. Turns out he meets every criteria of a sociopath.

Get help. You will not only survive this, you will know yourself better, know you deserve a loving, faithful partner, and never again accept crumbs in a relationship.

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/18/2020 14:41 PM

She was my first relationship and sexual partner. I guess I was so eager to have a partner, that I ignored a few red flags. I'm hoping this experience helps me when I pick my next partner. As for help, I've been seeing a IC for the past couple of months. She has been very helpful. I am not in bad shape as I was a couple of months ago. She told me to rely on books and support from forums like this whenever I feel down.

Lately, I've been depressed about starting over. I have to move back in with my family temporarily. They are encouraging me to stay for a while, so I can save for my first house. The problem is, that I've grown so accustomed to being on my own for the last couple of years. I am not looking forward to lack of privacy, and family trying to make decisions for me. I'm not looking to date now, but I dread the dating game. Before I met my STBX, I would get ghosted by girls left and right. No girl will want to talk to a divorced guy who living with his parents.

phmh posted 8/18/2020 19:00 PM

It's way too early for you to seriously contemplate dating. You need to work on your self-esteem and self-respect before that. Otherwise, ladies will not be interested in you and the rejection will send you into a downward spiral or into another relationship with a hot mess.

Did you read the Fear vs Reality thread at the top of this forum? Everyone had fears in the beginning but none of the fears became reality. Things turn out better than your fears.

Use this time with your family to work on boundaries. Had my parents lived closer to the city where I wanted to work, I would have moved in with them to save for a house. Instead, I had to waste money on rent for a year. You are an adult and they should respect that, as long as you are also respectful of them. Have a discussion with them in the beginning about expectations (on both sides).

Spend this time working on you. IC is a great step. Exercise is amazing! Work on learning to cook a few killer dishes. (Might I recommend learning to make risotto? Super easy, but takes time in the kitchen and will make ladies in the future swoon.) Become the person you've always meant to be; the person that ladies want to be with.

This really sucks. There are no words. It's not fair. But you've got a redo - don't let that go to waste!!!

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/19/2020 13:37 PM

I think she had strong feelings for this other guy. Before she met me, her and her AP talked about dating. It didn't work out because he left for a job across the country. Then she met me. We dated for 6 years before getting married. I thought she was happy. She wanted to have kids and get old with me. I don't understand it. Why didn't she just leave me for the AP? She just strung me along this entire marriage, knowing she loved him. Crying when the marriage therapist ran out of options for us? For what? She clearly wanted the AP. Yet kept me entangled in this double life for years.

I suppose that I'll never understand the mess I was dealt with. All I know is that it is toxic, and I need to step away. My self-esteem has always been low. What are some things I can do to help with that? I'm also worried about fixing my picker. I do not want to end up with someone like my STBX ever again.

crazyblindsided posted 8/19/2020 14:01 PM

What are some things I can do to help with that? I'm also worried about fixing my picker. I do not want to end up with someone like my STBX ever again.

I am in the same boat with issues to boot. IC really helps. Also positive self-talk and getting into things and hobbies that make you feel good about yourself. Spend time with friends and establish a solid support system. There are also lots of great self-esteem building books out there to explore as well.

I believe once you heal yourself and find out why you picked this person it will help you change your picker (at least that's what I'm hoping for). My picker has never picked a healthy person and this goes back to FOO issues (family of origin) and can be worked out in therapy.

Robert22205https posted 8/19/2020 17:33 PM

What she did takes adultery to a higher 'meaner' level. You deserve better. Do not look back.

Flip flopping is a normal reaction to a major trauma like adultery. I'm sorry to say it takes time to heal. Stay the course and get yourself out of infidelity and away from this abusive person.

Your wife cheated during the easy fun part of marriage (newly weds). Some day you'll look back and realize how fortunate you were to not have kids with her and to get out within 2 years.

Robert22205https posted 8/19/2020 17:38 PM

Treat yourself (everyone is different).

For example:

Join a gym or start a new exercise program at home.

Take up a new hobby (preferably with other people).

Buy yourself some new clothes and consider changing your 'look'.

Take a vacation (long cross country drives can be relaxing & therapeutic).

FINALLY, BTW: your wife was such a POS I suggest buying a small dog (unconditional love).

ColdChickenNugge posted 8/20/2020 14:52 PM

I hope it does get better for me. I went into the marriage with great intentions. I'm so worried about my life post-divorce. It feels like she was the only person for me. Starting over sucks. I worked so hard to find a partner and become independent. I was so shy, that I thought I would end up alone. I hope I can find a loving, respectful woman who desires me in the future.

HalfTime2017 posted 8/20/2020 14:58 PM

CCN, you will find someone. Some IC work on yourself will help. Otherwise, go to the gym (when they open), and pick up some hobbies. Get a sense of self. Its something your WW didn't have.

Its going to be rough, but you'll get thru this. Eventually, you'll be ready again to date. It'll happen, but you have to first get out of this mess.

nekonamida posted 8/20/2020 16:19 PM

CCN, I get the strong impression that you have always been perfect on paper but that never panned out for her in reality. You're stable, kind, loving, put her first, and show her an inhuman amount of patience. She knows she would be crazy to let you go but even so, her own brokenness caused her to keep choosing the unavailable OM who only wants one thing from her and prevents her from fully connecting intimately with you. Her picker is broken too and she probably needs something unhealthy going on in the relationship to fully make a connection.

It's not uncommon for someone to have a partner who is perfect on paper or who has all of the traits they said they wanted and yet they aren't invested in the relationship. The only difference is most people figure that out and break up before marriage and before they ruin the relationship with cheating. Even now it sounds like she would love to keep you on lock down as her "perfect" husband while she turns to someone else for her intimacy needs without any care or acknowledgement as to how painful and unfair that is for you. She can't leave for the OM because he's unreliable, quick to dump her when the relationship is no longer convenient, and maybe isn't even interested in being with her outside of the cheating. That is a big reflection of her selfishness and says nothing about you.

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