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I Never Imagined My Wife Would..

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HouseOfPlane posted 4/16/2021 12:56 PM

At 64, Iím now at a place I never thought imaginable and a future that seems so uncertain.
Imagine that she got hit by a car crossing the street and was gone from your life. Where would you be?

That's where you are now - if you choose. People survive this sort of thing every day.


You're in your sixties. One of you is going to go first (unless you're a passenger in the same car ). In some ways, this moment was always going to come.

Sending strength!

Butforthegrace posted 4/17/2021 18:28 PM

WoB, how are you doing?

westofboston posted 4/19/2021 09:51 AM

Brief Update: The responses to my post were many more than I anticipated. Thank you!

A number of replies spoke about Children, DNA testing, questioning a likelihood of prior affairs by my wife, notifying both the AP and his spouse, so let me provide some additional information:

We have 3 adult children 43, 38 and 33 and I have no doubt they are mine, so DNA testing is definitely not applicable in this case.

I am confident there were no prior affairs.

I did write the AP and, no doubt, got my message across. The AP was a very high public official. What I will not do is to notify the APís spouse because I do not want her to feel the pain Iíve been going through ( both the AP and his wife are now in their 70ís ).

We went away for a few days and had some very difficult and emotional talks - more than we have in a long time. My wife says she is remorseful because of the hurt she sees it has caused me, but I struggle if she is remorseful for having the affair ( this is an important distinction ). As previously mentioned, both my wife and I are in IC and she has been reading books on the infidelity and what she can do to help me/us.

I wonít make any life changing decisions until I get more clarity on the affair and more time in IC. My WW has opened up some, but shuts down when things get too difficult for her to talk about because, she says, it makes her realize she was Ďthat womaní and it crushes her to think of the affair and the hurt it has caused. I remind her that the revelation of the affair fíing crushes me, really crushes me and that is a result of something she knowingly and repeatedly did over five years. I continue to be on a emotional roller coaster and one whose impact is something I never thought possible. My hope and my wifeís hope is that we can successfully work toward R. What I know with all certainty is that I canít spend years on this emotional roller coaster, so Iím hopeful IC can give me hope, any hope, that Iíll get to a place where Ďití isnít in my face every moment of every day. I know itís going to require a depth of work and, yes, honesty. Once again, thank you.

BlueRaspberry posted 4/19/2021 10:05 AM

westofboston,

Thanks for updating us. I am sorry you are going through pain you had no part in creating.

When you say

I am confident there were no prior affairs
What makes you so sure? She was very good at hiding this affair over a 5 year period. What makes you think she didn't do this before?

Also, you wrote

I did write the AP and, no doubt, got my message across
What did you tell the OM? Was it simply to inform him you were aware of the affair and to no longer contact your wife? Did you wife ever send a NC message? If not, she should. I suspect it would help both of you with R.

I think you are wise when you say

I wonít make any life changing decisions until I get more clarity on the affair and more time in IC
I suggest you have your wife write a timeline of the affair, everything she did, everything she felt, and read it to you. It will help her internalize everything she has done to you and aid in the R. Also, if you need to confirm details of the affair(s) later on, you can reference the timeline in a polygraph and/or subsequent discussions with her.

Lastly, remember that most of the work is going to have to be done by your wife. If she is unwilling to dig deep and truly reconcile by addressing your pain and helping you heal, you'll likely never fully recover.

Good luck to you!

[This message edited by BlueRaspberry at 10:06 AM, April 19th (Monday)]

Westway posted 4/19/2021 12:51 PM

WestofBoston I do hope your WW comes to a place of full remorse. It may take a while for her heart to catch up to her head for her to fully empathize with you and really see what she did to you. This will take a monumental effort on her part to fix. She cannot slack on it.

She needs to understand, from you, that your healing is going to take years. If she isn't up to it, she needs to tell you now so that you can move on. This is the first thing you need to ask her: will she stay in this for the long haul and do everything she can to help you heal... for years to come and the rest of your lives together?

[This message edited by Westway at 12:51 PM, April 19th (Monday)]

goalong posted 4/19/2021 14:09 PM

Did the OM express his remorse in adequate terms. Otherwise he may think you are a little laid back as he and your WW continued this while while both fully knowing the conditions you were in. This was wrong in may ways , considering the fact he was the boss. You may be a good person, for me I would inform his wife especially if he do not get back to you and profusely apologize. it is not revenge but for sake of justice. Hope you are healthy now otherwise it is also a factor in your R. Hopefully she treated you well despite having this affair. You decide to R despite her lying and never coming forward with a confession because she trested you well overall. Bottom line is whichever path you take it should not be with second guessing and regret at this stage of your life

[This message edited by goalong at 2:19 PM, April 19th (Monday)]

HellFire posted 4/19/2021 14:24 PM

There are no shortcuts here. Unless you plan on rugsweeping.

You need to tell the OBS. She deserves the truth. She also needs to know she should be tested for stds.

If you allow his wife to remain in the dark, that makes you an accomplice. It also means you are helping the OM decieve is wife. You are keeping his secret for him.

Don't be that guy.

thatbpguy posted 4/19/2021 15:50 PM

There are no shortcuts here. Unless you plan on rugsweeping.

You need to tell the OBS. She deserves the truth. She also needs to know she should be tested for stds.

If you allow his wife to remain in the dark, that makes you an accomplice. It also means you are helping the OM decieve is wife. You are keeping his secret for him.

Don't be that guy.

Perfectly stated.

Butforthegrace posted 4/19/2021 16:56 PM

What I will not do is to notify the APís spouse because I do not want her to feel the pain Iíve been going through ( both the AP and his wife are now in their 70ís ).

Itís almost gospel here on SI that the morally right thing to do in virtually every circumstance is to inform the APís spouse (the OBW). To your point (ďI do not want her to feel the painÖĒ), you would not be causing the pain. That would be caused by the acts of her husband. The theory is that every married person deserves to have agency over his/her own choices and decisions concerning his/her marriage, made in light of truth. Youíd be giving her agency. I acknowledge that age is a consideration. It is possible that, in their 70ís, she may never know and could die contented. However, there are many vectors by which this information could reach her. Since the AP was a high level politician, itís likely that there are people who already know (indeed itís quite possible that he was a serial philanderer, as so many high level politicians are). It is possible she already knows, and what she knows differs from what your WW is telling you. There have been countless threads here where a newly minted BH found the OBW to be a valuable ally in finding the truth. The worst case scenario would be that she would find out after his death. Finding out about cheating after the death of the cheater is a special Hell.

Put the shoe on the other foot. If the OBW found out now, and you didnít know, wouldnít you want her to tell you?

By the way, writing the AP may have been cathartic for you, but it's ineffectual. The AP decided to have sex with your wife behind your back, repeatedly for years. Do you think he actually gives a single shit about what you think? The wisdom here is that reaching out to the AP after an A has ended is a waste of time that can produce no good outcome.

My hope and my wifeís hope is that we can successfully work toward R. What I know with all certainty is that I canít spend years on this emotional roller coaster, so Iím hopeful IC can give me hope, any hope, that Iíll get to a place where Ďití isnít in my face every moment of every day. I know itís going to require a depth of work and, yes, honesty.

R is a lifelong process. It takes years of hard work by both partners just to achieve some level of emotional stasis. This place has a vast reservoir of crowd-sourced information about infidelity, almost all from the perspective of betrayed spouses. Based on this collective wisdom, no matter what, you will in fact be on some form of this emotional roller coaster for years. Additionally, based on this wisdom, the roller coaster will endure longer if you try R than if you D. R is an iron man endurance event, and there is no guarantee it will work even with the best of efforts by both spouses.

I would remind you of one truth. I have never, not once, read a thread by a BH who divorced his WW and later regretted it. I have read dozens of threads by BH's who gave their WW an opportunity for R and, years later, were still writhing in pain and self-doubt, wondering if it was all worth it.

To that end, I'd remind you that white knuckling it and remaining married (a choice some BH's make) is NOT the same as R. If you remain married (either by rug sweeping, white knuckling it, or otherwise), The A and the AP are permanent third parties to the marriage.

One of the basic necessities about R is an eager desire and willingness by your WW to talk to you about the A -- about the dirty details ("Yes, I sucked his cock in our bedroom while looking at our wedding photo on the night stand") and the emotional truths ("Yes, I loved him and yes we laughed in pillow talk as I said disparaging things about you to him") -- in frank, brutal, graphic detail, over and over, while she looks in your eyes and sees the trauma and pain. Is your WW ready to commit to the marriage under this paradigm? Is she a marathon runner? Does she have that sort of grit and toughness?

Her resort to pity parties as a stall tactic when the A comes up does not augur well for her ability to carry the weight she must carry for R. As other have said, she didn't let self-pity stop her from sneaking around for sex with another man for 5 years, nor did it stop her from lying to you about it for all of those years after the A ended.

I would remind you of another SI truism. Well, two, actually. (1) You (the BH) can't control the outcome, you can only control you, and (2) You can't nice her back. These two truisms form the root of most of the beginner errors newly minted BH's often make (including me, after my Dday, which was long before I knew there was anything like this place -- I was a blubbering, simpering, begging, pathetic mess, and in the end my Ex dumped me for the other man -- in hindsight, it was by far the best outcome for me). You've only posted twice, but as you'll see from some of the comments below (this is edited), already people are sniffing out that you are possibly trying to manipulate the outcome (stay married, at all costs) by nicing her back (taking it easy on her when she throws her pity parties). I would remind you that she is a professional liar. She has spent years lying to you and deceiving you. Her instinct to read your weaknesses and insecurities, to manipulate your desire to flee the truth, these are well honed and razor sharp. Lying is her normal. As to you, living with your unconfirmed suspicions for years, accepting her lies, your "fight or flight" response has been well trained toward flight, a classic behavioral modification that will ensure years of emotional misery for you if you don't change it now. In other words, early indications suggest you aren't moving toward R. Instead, you're moving toward some admixture of rug-sweeping and white knuckling it.

it crushes her to think of the affair and the hurt it has caused

She's just now thinking of that? She has invested considerable effort and imagination to lie to you, for years. She didn't do that by coincidence. She did it because she knew she was "that woman". She has always known. The facts don't suggest it bothers her to be reminded of this. What bothers her is that you now see her for what she really is: "that woman."

Among other things, you will eventually reach a place often called ďThe Plane of Lethal FlatnessĒ, after your current roller coaster has diminished, where you realize that you will look at your face every morning in the mirror and at some point it will occur to you that you are married to a woman who cheated on you for years and then continued to lie to you for more years. Though itís important to not make rash decisions, itís also wise to be mindful you donít get mired in ďanalysis paralysisĒ and piss away 4 or 5 years you could be spending finding your joy as a single man.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:05 AM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

src9043 posted 4/19/2021 18:33 PM

You must tell the AP's wife. In fact, your wife must tell her and apologize. No way no how should these two get away with what they did. Your wife must feel the pain she caused you and will cause the AP's wife. There is no way to R until she starts cleaning up the mess SHE caused.

GoldenR posted 4/19/2021 19:06 PM

Is she still refusing to talk about the affair?

longsadstory1952 posted 4/19/2021 19:08 PM

One of the keys to successful communication is not to accept illusory reasons to avoid talking about it. The last was it was so long ago. It wasnít.

The latest is that it crushes her. That is simply avoidance. It didnít crush her to do it for five years. It didnít crush her to lie to you every day for five years. It didnít crush her to keep you in the dark for 12 years.

The reality is she thought she was in the clear and does not want to deal with the deception. She doesnít like being in the crosshairs and so plays the pity card. Donít fall for it.

The next will be ďl donít remember.Ē That can be true and false. Itís one thing to say she doesnít remember what positions she was in the 17th time she did it. Itís quite another if the question is whether they did it in your house, or if that time she took off for three days she was really with him. She remembers.

So accept no substitute for the truth, allow no deflection and donít buy into BS excuses.

Just go with this mantra. It may have been all about her, but now itís all about you.

Booyah posted 4/19/2021 19:15 PM

"It confirmed a suspicion I had for YEARS".

This is what you said in your first post.

You don't think the OBS had "suspicion" as well???

And now you are NOT going to tell her???

This affair went on for FIVE YEARS and again you're not going to tell OBS??

As others have said you are helping them cover up their affair.

It's the right thing to do.

You reached out to her loser affair partner but you can't do the same with his wife for crying out loud??

Glad your "suspicions" were finally confirmed and that you now know you weren't crazy.

You have an opportunity to help this woman confirm her suspicions as well (she has suspicions as this affair went on for FIVE FREAKING YEARS....so YES she has suspicions...just like you).

And what are you going to do with this info?

Sit on it and not do anything.

This makes you an enabler and you're just as guilty as anyone else who knew about this affair and didn't tell you or OBS and trust me there are people who knew.

Foley05 posted 4/19/2021 19:19 PM

Tell the AP's wife. She will find out at some point. If you found out, she will too. The longer this goes on, the more it will hurt her when she learns what has been done to her. She'll be blaming lots of people; do you want to be one of them?

RocketRaccoon posted 4/19/2021 22:37 PM

My WW has opened up some, but shuts down when things get too difficult for her to talk about because, she says, it makes her realize she was Ďthat womaní and it crushes her to think of the affair and the hurt it has caused.

This midset indicates that she is still in WW thinking mode. The self-preservation/protection. You hurt does not factor in a major way at the moment. Your pain is not as great as hers, hence she shuts up. Your well-being is not as important as hers, hence she shuts up.

She is relying on YOU to help her, not the other way around. She is the victim, not you (hint: this is deep into WS thinking territory).

And what did she expect when she had her fun? That the betrayal of her husband over and over again, over 5yrs, that she would walk away with her integrity intact? She has to accept that she is 'that woman'. It is a fact and a consequence of her betrayal. It was not an accident, mistake, momentary lapse of judgment. It was a carefully considered betrayal over a long period of time.


So, unless she wakes up from her pity party she is throwing for herself:-

My hope and my wifeís hope is that we can successfully work toward R. What I know with all certainty is that I canít spend years on this emotional roller coaster,

... you will never reach a successful R.


Your WW will needs to 'want' R. At this point in time, it is obvious R is far from her mind. Self-pity overrides every other thought, and R is far from being thought about.

Dignitas posted 4/20/2021 01:28 AM

Your wife isnít even at the stage of basic accountability, and youíre already ďhopingĒ for and offering her R? Where the hell is your indignance? Where along the line did she slip your spine out of your back?

Mene posted 4/20/2021 07:19 AM

Tell the OBS. Now.

Bigger posted 4/20/2021 08:23 AM

Itís so easy for someone to tell you to kick your wife to the curb and tastelessly and tactlessly accuse you of having no spine for not doing so.
A lot of the advice offered here is IMHO borderline. It might apply with kids of a certain age, an ongoing affair or known repeated affair. This instant labeling of a WS as a serial cheater and as an inherently evil and unchangeable being is getting tired, especially since itís been shown repeatedly to be wrong. This site is in itself a beacon proving that people that cheat can change, both in the example of itís founders and with multiple contributors that have both cheated and been cheated on.
This site also has itís fair share of people that never acted on the infidelity and are living in what is at best inactive infidelity. We donít advocate that. Reconcile or divorce, but donít rug-sweep or learn to live with the big elephant in your living-room.

Is your wife a candidate for reconciling?
We donít know. Itís seldom clear right at the get-go. It takes time for the WS to fully realize the damage done and the intensity of the work needed to reconcile. You will see if she is reconciliation material at that point.

I agree with your decision to get IC and clarity before deciding any major decision.
There are a couple of things I do want you to understand though:

You state that if you had known at the time you would have left.
I donít know of a single poster here on SI who will claim that before their d-day they would have done otherwise. I think we ALL claim before we discover infidelity that if our spouses cheat we would leave. Like at some dinner-party if people are discussing infidelity. If we donít know better or havenít been in those shoes we would all claim that we would walk out.
Yet we donítÖ

We often have imagined reactions to imagined situations. Reality can be totally different. Iím guessing that if you had posted about a recent or ongoing affair Ė even if you were 20 years younger Ė you wouldnít be sure of your next steps.
Iím pointing this out so you donít feel bad about not having acted decisively and thrown her out, disinherited the kids, done DNA testing, plastered her and his face on a billboard or whatever.

The desire to reconcile is a normal desire after d-day. The trick is to evaluate, realize and eventually accept if itís attainable or not. That is where your delay for clarity comes in.

The second issue is to warn you that itís to your advantage that a decision is reached and accepted.
I believe that decision needs to be from the truth. Your wife needs to come completely clean and you should have no doubts about what happened, where, how, whenÖ whatever you need. I think itís imperative that both you and your wife realize how serious the affair is, and how it risks everything you have. Divorce is a likely outcome. Not preordained or decided beforehand, but if you allow the infidelity to fester then IMHO the Big D is inevitable. Therefore true healing is best gained by working in honesty and truth.

Finally: The OM doesnít really give a shit about you. Donít spend your time on communicating with him.

HouseOfPlane posted 4/20/2021 08:50 AM

WOB,

The one piece of advice I'll give is to make sure you are R-ing for all the right reasons, and not due to fear of an unknown future or inertia.

You do that by removing all obstacles and putting yourself in a place where R or D are equally easy. You sit on the fence, D on one side and R on the other.

The way you get there is you visit a lawyer, hit all of the items on the tick list, and you stand there with your grubby fingers holding the paperwork needed to D, and you sit in the moment. Nothing left but choice. Then you can either sign it or throw it in the fireplace.

It makes it all real.

Sending strength!

Bigger posted 4/20/2021 08:57 AM

Bravo on that post HOP!

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