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My wife cheated on me with her coworker. What now

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MrFlibble posted 1/15/2021 06:36 AM

Damn. I thought you guys would be one of the few success stories. I hate it when any marriage goes kablooey.
I'm recanting what I said before, but I went back and reado ver the whole thread again. Look I never tried R with my xWW, so I can't really say I have the right to tell you what to do. But after divorcing a WW who was probably one of the biggest serial cheaters in the last century, it is my opinion that you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

There are ways to get the mind movies out and reestablish a good sex life with your WW. Sex coaching, more intense therapy, EDMR... I suggest you look into these before throwing in the towel.

Thank you, I hope time will help. I thought that the initial shock and hurt is over now, and that I finaly know what I want and what to do but I am not there yet. Still on a roller coaster apparently. I will look into ways of coping and read about thet EDMR, no idea what that is. I feel pressured to make a desicion because this limbo and divorce/back together is hell.

I think there are two kinds of men on this forum. Men who didn't struggle with women when they were younger and know there is a future for them, and men who think their WW is the best they can ever do and can't even fathom being single again. You can tell who is who quite easily by how fast they jump at the idea of R.

You strike me as the former, or at the very least, a man who knows deep down that he deserves better. As I've already said, there's a future with someone loyal out there for you, regardless of whether you are married again or not.

As I have been saying continuously lately, nobody on this forum is lucky. A lot of people are projecting. Example: "my WW was the most evil cheating bitch of the century so if yours has any remorse you are lucky." You're not lucky. Your wife betrayed you in the worst possible way, and IT'S OK FOR THAT TO BE A DEALBREAKER.

You don't have to spend the rest of your life with a woman who betrayed you. You don't have to spend years and years in therapy trying to heal just so you can look at her the same way again. You can just move on. You'll still need time to heal, but the potential reward isn't damaged goods.

That's the problem, I dont't think I am either. I don't think I can do better, my wife is an amazing person (or maybe was) up until last May. And I love her even after what she put me through. If she slept with him I would be crushed but my actions would be very swift and I would file for divorce right away. And as much as it might sound as cliche, I don't see any future with anyone else. If we divorce I probably won't date and will focus on my kids. But who knows, right? That damaged good is gross but accurate description.

I must be missing something. She did not sleep with him (which would have been a dealbreaker for you, I understand). So why the sudden push towards D when she is doing and saying all the right things?

Sleeping with him would be absolute dealbreaker. Now I try to see if I can get over the rest and it does not look good, so I see divorce as the only option now. What else is there to do? I refuse to live in this hell much longer.

I seriously thought I am now in place where I am ready to make a final decision and stick with it, but it's apparent I am now. I know this hurts me and mostly my wife because I know it's been tought on her too. But I just don't know what to do except wallow in a self pity. I suck ball in that regard.

Dignitas posted 1/15/2021 07:23 AM

In fairness to the R side of this forum, a decision to give it a try is NOT a decision to stay with her in perpetuity no matter what. But really you need to drill down into some decision criteria.

What outcome, 5 years from now, if I could guarantee it to you, would make you divorce her right now?

What outcome, 5 years from now, if I could guarantee it to you, would make you decide to try to reconcile?

What are the risks and potential pitfalls of each one? If you choose D, what steps will you need to take to improve your life and your kidsí lives. If you stay, what does your wife need to do to help you heal?

Etc etc etc

Tigersrule77 posted 1/15/2021 07:25 AM

MrFlibble, your feelings right now are very common. Most people who are dealing with similar issues to your feel like you do, i.e. never marry again, can't trust again, etc. Right now, the A and potential D are taking up maybe 80-90% of your thoughts in a given day? It's hard to think about much else. Especially at your stage, i.e. limbo.

If it is the route you do choose, making the decision to D will very likely lift a lot pressure off of you. Right now you are struggling, considering R, and you have a lot of feelings and worry. For me and many others, once the decision was made, a lot of the struggle goes away. I don't say this to push you towards D, I want you to choose what you think is best. I suspect whatever you choose will have similar results.

Either way, you need to heal. Once you heal, you can consider another relationship. I think you will find that YOU are not the problem, you will learn from mistakes from your M (all M's have them) and be better prepared for your next relationship. It is hard to see that right now. That's OK. Focus on yourself and your healing.

Westway posted 1/15/2021 09:13 AM

. She told me multiple times she would never sleep with him, but I don't believe that. The reasons why she never slept with him were me acting on my gut feeling and no opportunities to meet due to covid. That's what I am sure of to be honest. Given more time she would eventualy break and that's horrible to know.

Well then here is where the car is high centered: you need to decide if her intent was as bad as actually going through with the act. Only you can decide if this is divorce-worthy.

And as for her, she's not owning her shit. She's not wanting to admit she would have gone through with it. So that's where she is.

Anotheron3 posted 1/15/2021 09:57 AM

MrFibble, I can totally understand what you're going through. It's been over a year since I went through the same thing with my now ex wife.

Things started out like it did for you, and EA for 9 months with me trying to solve the problem, doing whatever it took. It was hell trying to save a marriage on my own. I finally did a hard 180 and kicked her out of the house. I exposed her to all of her family and friends. Within a week of moving out she took it to a PA. Needless to say we were D a month later. The end came fast, and I can say I am in a better place a year later.

The EX came back a couple times trying to just get a glimpse of what she left, crying, everything. The feelings with me are gone and I'm happier with someone else.

I guess I just want to say, hang in there. It is possible to get out of this if you want to.

tushnurse posted 1/15/2021 10:04 AM

I know I might sound harsh towards her but I can't help it but feel a lot of resentment for what she did to me and to our kids. It's a lot to swallow.

Not harsh at all. Normal. Honestly step back from it a second. This woman who is supposed to have your back always, and be there for you no matter what, consciously chose multiple times to behave in a way that dishonorable, and deceitful to you and your M. Of course you are going resent that, and be pissed.

I am really tired (physicaly and emotionaly) so I hope few months apart might help with that

You are grieving. You are grieving the death of your M as you knew, and the loss of your best friend, confidant, and spouse. You are going to be exhuasted, sad, angry, resentful, doubtful, and worst of all confused on what may be best for you and your kids. This is all NORMAL stuff. It takes a bit for the initial blow of discovery to settle, and for you to start figuring out what you want and need.

But now is the time to start figuring out what your absolutes are. Now is the time to figure out what you need to see from her (not hear but real actions) what changes need to be made.
Now is the time to figure out your line in the sand. If you discover you are done, that's ok. You have every right and reason to be done. If you decide you want to offer the gift of reconciliation to see what she does, that's ok too. But you absolutely must figure out what your breaking points are, lay them out, and be prepared to carry through with them.

To help give you some balance and strength, you also should consider IC for you, seeing an attorney if you haven't (you cannot make an informed decision to stay /leave, R/D without this) and see your Dr. Make sure you are healthy, discuss sleep and eating patterns while going through this stress. While going through such a tough trauma it is not unusual to see people have issues w/ blood pressure, sleep, and even suffer from poor nutrition, which brings about it's own issues like hair loss, weakness, and fatigue. If not managed properly can also bring on autoimmune diseases.

NOW... Don't even worry about the future. Try to let go of the outcome, but know your boundaries, and stick to them. Focus on the present. Focus on your needs, your kids needs. Let her figure her stuff out, and see where you are in 30, 60, and 90 days. it will become clearer.

thatbpguy posted 1/15/2021 10:57 AM

I seriously thought I am now in place where I am ready to make a final decision and stick with it, but it's apparent I am now. I know this hurts me and mostly my wife because I know it's been tought on her too. But I just don't know what to do except wallow in a self pity. I suck ball in that regard.

You don't have to make a decision until you're good and read to.

You've been betrayed by the person who should be the least likely to. That's a lot to process. It takes time. Just keep working thru the process and you'll be fine.

Divod62 posted 1/15/2021 11:35 AM

Iím sorry youíre in limbo. Iíd like to share how I approached my thoughts after Dday, maybe some of this will help.

You donít know if she would have gone all the way with her AP. She could have grown weary of his pressure campaign and shut it down. You canít convict someone for a crime they didnít commit. The way I look at it, itís fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of a worse case scenario. You donít want to be making a decision based on fear.

Now if your WW was a serial cheater, Iíd look at it a whole different way. Thatís what I would call a trend. I can make a solid decision based on a trend.

If I was interested in buying 1000 shares of Tesla, I wouldnít make that decision based on emotion. I wouldnít be thinking Iím not getting any younger so Iíd better get in before itís too late or what if the stock goes up and I didnít buy any, etc. And I certainly wouldnít dump the stock rashly for fear of losing all my money because of a downturn. Iíd look at the market, the products, the trends, etc. and make a decision based on those data points. Then strap in for the roller coaster ride.

This also helped me; I tend to look at things from the perspective of the forest rather than the trees. Sure youíre hurting that she lied to you many times over. But I see it as a single act of self-preservation. Itís the same lie over and over again. Itís just a symptom for the real disease, the affair itself. Iím not saying the lying doesnít hurt, but looking at it from above helped me heal a lot faster.

Best of luck.

oldtruck posted 1/15/2021 11:47 AM

sleeping would be a deal breaker

the only reason she did not sleep with him...

reason does not matter because and it is best a guess on your
part as to why.

that she did not is a fact.

Txquail posted 1/15/2021 12:00 PM

Mr Fibble,

I just read your thread. It appears you are doing the correct thing.

This is my point of view. Deal breakers are what you define a deal breaker to be. The amount of lying, deceit and even such as a thing as a kiss is bad. What she was doing was wrong and she knew it, yet she proceeded to continue to do it until she got caught. There are countless of stories on this forum of people saying their spouse would never ever get into a physical relationship, yet it seems to always happen. Everyone here knows that a physical affair always starts with flirting, then touching/kissing. I believe you caught it before it went any further, however that doesn't stop the overall picture that the lies, deceit, etc....

What your WW needs to understand is, you no longer can trust her. You can love her, but what she did, with the lies, the deceit and even kissing was to destroy the core of your marriage. I believe that a divorce would probably be the best thing for both of you. I know many people here will disagree but hear me out.

When you first meet someone, you date them for a long period of time to make sure they are the person whom you can reliably trust. Right now there's absolutely no reason why you could trust her. She lied to you about the emotional affair, she went behind your back to try to conceal it to the best of her ability. How can you be sure now that she's being truthful with you trying to keep the now destroyed marriage? The marriage as you knew it was destroyed by her actions. Yes, her actions. She willingly did it on her own by pursuing the affair. I know people will say the other man pursued her, but she had to be willing to take the pursuit and accept what he was offering. By the inappropriate texts, calls, emails, lies to you, she accepted his advances and in return pursued him.

By going to a divorce, you will officially end the marriage, this will allow you to officially heal. This will also give you soon to be ex-wife a lesson, her actions are what caused the loss of the marriage. Her actions and her actions alone caused this. Now what will this do for her? It will teach her that there are grave consequences to her actions if she lies and deceits the people who love her.

Now after your divorce, if you chose to "date" her, you are so free to do so. If you go this path, it will take a long, very long time, for her to ever win back your trust again.

Now, I'm a stranger on the internet. Please just read what I wrote and use your own heart and your own mind to decide what is right for you. I know your world is upside down right now. Your emotions are all over the place and you have your ups and downs.

Its been nearly 30 years since I discovered my EX was having an affair. Like all people, she put me thru hell. I thought it was things I was doing that was putting distance between us. In the end when I discovered the affair, it almost destroyed me. Here I was doing everything I could do, trying to save what we had with each other, and she was doing everything in the world to destroy what we had, blaming me along the way. Its funny when the affair was uncovered, how things changed. All the sudden she wanted me back and I no longer wanted her back. All the lies, the deceit, the grief I got from her for months, all the work I tried to fix it was in-vain. Its funny when I checked out, her affair partner dropped her like a sack of potatoes. She tried to win me back for 6 months to a year after the divorce, but I had enough. I moved 1500 miles away and didn't tell her where I was going. About 5 years ago or so she found me on facebook and sent me a message asking for forgiveness in a very long winded letter. I didn't bother to respond. There are dangers in opening old wounds. I felt it was best to just delete the message and add her to my block list. However it made me feel someone good to see that she's never remarried or doesn't have kids, according to her facebook page. Something I know she's always wanted.

The divorce was probably the best thing I ever did. It was painful for a relatively short period of time. As I begun to heal, I ended up meeting another girl. Someone whom eventually became my wife and as of today, we are still together. She knows about my ex and what hell that woman put me thru. My current wife knows if she ever betrays me, it will end our marriage. From the get go, she's been an open book. She tells me everything, gives me access to anything and even tells me when anyone gives her gifts at work or asks her out to "drinks". (She always says no). Heck, she even likes our phones to track each other. (I think she tracks me more than I ever track her, but you know, we are married and she has the right to know where I'm at. ).

Mr Fibble, I wish you well. I know exactly how you feel right now. The pain and turmoil is something I wouldn't even wish upon people I dislike. Things will look up.

[This message edited by Txquail at 12:03 PM, January 15th (Friday)]

ChamomileTea posted 1/15/2021 14:39 PM

Now I try to see if I can get over the rest and it does not look good, so I see divorce as the only option now. What else is there to do? I refuse to live in this hell much longer.

Healing doesn't magically occur just because you divorce. It's a separate thing. Whether you're still with your WW or without her, you've still been betrayed in a very intimate and primary way and those feelings still have to be sorted and dealt with.

I feel like some people are giving you the impression that divorce means you don't have to go through that process. But really, it's no different than if it were your leg that was broken rather than your heart. It's going to take TIME. And it's going to take effort.

It seems to me like you're looking for a quick way out of dealing with very complicated emotions. But as you can see, it's not that simple. Typically, healing can take anywhere between 2 and 5 years. For people who refuse to deal with those feelings, it can be longer or even never. There aren't any shortcuts. As BS, we have our own work to do, sifting through our feelings, challenging our beliefs, and getting into healthy relationship with our inner selves.

If your D decision is because you've found your WW's behavior to be a total deal-breaker, that's valid. Ending the marriage quickly and without ambivalence can keep continued hurts from piling up. But if you're choosing D because you're looking to shorten or circumvent the healing process, you're moving too quickly. If you're choosing it because you don't believe people can and do heal, well... that's not just not true. Lots of people have fully recovered their marriages. Some are here, but most move on out of SI as they continue on with their lives.

You're only about three months out. It's okay to take more time if you're uncertain.

Dismayed2012 posted 1/16/2021 23:10 PM

You're correct Fibble. She would have eventually slept with the OM. Your intervention is the only thing that stopped her from going further.

Divorcing her is a concrete way to take your life back. Taking your life back is the most important step in healing from her betrayal. If you don't take your life back you'll continue to wallow in self pity and brokenness. It's also okay to leave the door open to a possible future reconciliation so she can prove her ability to be faithful. In the meantime the distance, along with taking up your former hobbies, spending time with friends, and meeting new people will allow you to get back to your old self. Then, once you're strong again, you can decide if you want to take a chance on her again. Realize also that you aren't required to ever marry her or anyone again. You can live together and raise kids without the imposition of the legal contract. Many people actually have stronger relationships without the government involved. Take care of yourself.

MrFlibble posted 1/18/2021 03:53 AM

I am an idiot. Yesterday we took kids out (we have good few inches of snow here) and in the evening my wife come to go through some pictures I took and we had a good laught. No idea how it happened but we ended in bed together. And honestly, it was great. And good morning too. She told me later it doesn't have to mean anything if I don't want it to, that she just wants to make me feel good and now I feel like crap. Like I just used her. She's absolutely beaming today and I feel horrible for giving her some kind of false hope because I am not sure what it means. But the images just weren't there and it was all good. No idea what that means.

smolderingdark posted 1/18/2021 06:46 AM

I am an idiot. Yesterday we took kids out (we have good few inches of snow here) and in the evening my wife come to go through some pictures I took and we had a good laught. No idea how it happened but we ended in bed together.

Would disagree. You were vulnerable and your wife took advantage.

And honestly, it was great. And good morning too. She told me later it doesn't have to mean anything if I don't want it to, that she just wants to make me feel good and now I feel like crap. Like I just used her.

Rest assured it was meant by her to mean something to you.

She's absolutely beaming today and I feel horrible for giving her some kind of false hope because I am not sure what it means. But the images just weren't there and it was all good. No idea what that means.

False hope. Your intimate encounter was not an accident. Manipulation. If you allow it you should expect there will be other happy accidents along the way. As for what it means, you still don't see a future with her even though you were intimate. Sex won't mend the trust she broke.

If you want to take away her false hope then thank her and tell her that it was a nice experience but doesn't change anything. Divorce will proceed. Advise that it cannot happen again. Up to you if you choose to share more intimacy with your wife but it will cloud your judgment if you continue to indulge. Look at how you feel after the most recent encounter. As if you have done something wrong. The sole purpose of the sex at this point is to keep you invested in the crumbling marriage.

Where was this sex when she was lying to you and meeting with the other man?

[This message edited by smolderingdark at 7:06 AM, January 18th (Monday)]

MountainGuy posted 1/18/2021 16:37 PM

No idea what that means

It means that you're still figuring things out. And That's A Good Thing. It gives you more information on how you're reacting and dealing with this and what your options are.

Your decision to divorce is based on the assumption that her actions had ruined your ability to be intimate without have flashbacks of her affair partner, or a sense of revulsion. That doesn't seem to be the case.

The problem you have now though is do you continue with the D, take it slower, or reconsider it all together.

Whatever you choose it is your choice, you don't need to defend it to anyone but yourself.

Good luck man.

Buffer posted 1/18/2021 19:57 PM

I donít feel it is manipulation on her part. The opportunity arose. Mr F took up the task and went through to the end.
No manipulation, just two adults doing what they wanted to do.
Also I believe it is not false hope. Canít WW be happy for her Mr F.
One day at a time.

[This message edited by Buffer at 1:16 AM, January 26th (Tuesday)]

GTeamReboot posted 1/18/2021 22:21 PM

Hi Mr Fibble! I've been following along with your story. Many diverse points of view and advice, coming from an equally diverse set of experiences. Two things jump out at me...

I totally agree with ChammomileTea (happens alot)... I have the sense that you may be expecting to feel better or have answers more quickly than is normal, reasonable. And while separation or divorce might solve some hurts quickly, it will create new ones. That is the incredibly un-fncking fair thing about all this! But it is true. I think the advice not to make major decisions for at least 6 months is very wise.

If the images are what haunts you the most, definitely do two things... take heart in knowing that it can and likely will ease on its own... and consider IC with a therapist that can do EMDR. I've had two sessions myself. I posted about it in General but it doesn't get much play and is probably page 2 or 3. I'm still not entirely sold it has helped, but the effect is supposed to take a couple weeks to fully help and overall I've had a good month or so. Combination of his behavior, EMDR, Neurofeedback, marital sessions? Hard to say. My H had a very brief two-encounter affair with one of my friends, and after ending that on his own he ended up in a drunken ONS with my BFF. Short of walking in on them myself, the close nature of knowing both of them - especially the ONS A who I knew very well - makes the imagery VIVID. It is still probably my biggest challenge. But... it's getting better, and we've made progress on the relationship and sorting out the circumstances leading up to the A. I've come a long way in articulating what more I need from him to consider forgiveness, and we will discuss that next marital session. The things that feel most important for me to "deal with" have ever so slowly shifted.

I would have been VERY justified in dropping him immediately, or as the shock wore off, or during the very difficult months around month 6-12 (which is common, be warned). But the countless stories here about situations that were similar, or "less awful" or "much worse" helped me realize that so many paths and outcomes are possible, normal, even promising. And, that forgiving my H and having something better to show for it just might be one one of them. That would have been very hard to see clearly after just a few months.

I don't think your wife was being manipulative with the intimacy. It takes two to tango, and you still have feelings for her. "Hysterical bonding" is common. Just keep being honest with her that it doesn't "change things" - you're still hurting and contemplating.

[This message edited by GTeamReboot at 10:23 PM, January 18th (Monday)]

Unsure2019 posted 1/19/2021 17:15 PM

Mr. F,

Glad you were able to let go of the mind movies and enjoy some physical intimacy. I do not believe your WW is really being manipulative at all. She has said she desires you and wants a future with you. Of course sheís going to want to be physical with you. Why wouldnít she? Frankly, your WW has done a lot of things right from the beginning. This, and how her affair was not a full blown PA, in my mind makes her an excellent candidate for R.

Since youíve made some progress with letting go of the mind movies, I would consider taking D off the table for now. I would tell your WW that the D is on hold and that you MAY be willing to consider R in the future if she continues to work on herself to be a safe partner for you and makes your healing a priority. Thereís no need to rush here. You can always get back on the D train. Give YOURSELF the gift of time.

MrFlibble posted 1/22/2021 03:41 AM

Thank you all. I wanted to come here more often, but you know.. life happened. We got a lot less money from a car insurance than we expected and my mom might have cancer. So some great news obviously.

When it comes to my wife, last few days were good and I think we are on our path towards future R. We talked yesterday about conditions and expectations and made a plan for not so distant future. It was very emotional but I am glad it's done and we can move forward.

1) WE ARE DIVORCING. I told her this is not
negotionable and she signed the papers yesterday. It's too early to talk about what future might bring (re-marriage), but this one is done for. My wife accepts this and understands where I am coming from. Division of assets and kids arrangements are already talked out and mutualy agreed upon. We are talking to a lawyer on Monday.

2) She's moving out. We have found a nice 3 bedroom appartment maybe 10 minutes from our house. We are not selling the house and I will get a mortgage (my first, yay!) to buy it. It's good investment opportunity anyway, so no money down the drain.

3) Once a week we are going on "dates". Just two of us without kids. No matter where we go or what we do we have few hours of uninterupted alone time. We will talk about our progress and how we feel this is going. We need to make peace with a possibility of this not working out and permanent split.

4) absolutely no dating with other people. We are still a couple and any kind of affair or innaproriate contact means we are over.

5) Honesty, even if it hurts. No lies or pretending either.

6) Kids are staying here. She can visit them anytime she wants for how long she wants, have them sleep over. But she won't spent nights in here anymore.

7) When the lockdown ends, we are spending a lot more time together with kids. Parks, ZOOs, trips. I will look into cutting my hours at work, maybe a part time.

8) We continue with IC for at least another 3 months. It has done us some good. I might not make myself clear, but there is absolutely no blameshifting or trying to put her affair on me. My wife screwed up and she owns it. If in few months we feel like it, we might consider MC.

We are telling our parents this weekend. Kids already know and we both feel like shit for putting them through this. Sometimes it's not easy to not hate my wife.

I honestly thought i will feel some kind of rock lifted off my chest, but it was very anticlimatic and that feeling never came. Maybe when this all is official, who knows.

Now you can tore me to shreds

sleepylove posted 1/22/2021 05:01 AM

This seems like a path I have not seen on this site before.
It is congruent R and D. Iím not really sure how this makes sense.
Youíll be divorcing and dating at the same time? And not allowed to see anyone else? This arrangement seems unfair to both of you.
If what she did amounts to enough to divorce her, then let her go. Honestly this seems kind of cruel.

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