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One week after D-day feel like R is too easy

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This0is0Fine posted 4/16/2021 11:37 AM

I was going to write a short reply from my cell phone, but I think it's better to fully dissect your post in full on a computer. Before going into the gory detail, let me re-recommend (I'm sure it was on your initial thread) "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda McDonald, "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass, and it sounds like in your case "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring (I strongly feel you are moving toward cheap forgiveness).

One week ago today I discovered my wife was having an affair with a man in her hometown that lasted 4 weeks. (here is the thread I posted about it: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=653250) I found their entire conversation history on her FB. It was a sexual affair and she was sneaking around behind my back to see him. She admitted everything, I broke down, she broke down, I told her our marriage was over. She stayed one night at home, and then went to her sister's (which I suggested as she needed her for her support.) She was in a complete fog.

I recruited her Dad by phoning him. My wife's mother cheated on her Dad and left him for this man, so he knows what I was dealing with. I also contacted the partner of the AP and together we blew the lid off everything and brought them both crashing back down to earth.

Great initial moves on your part. I do think you handled this part well to crush the A.

Those first few days were absolute hell, as you can imagine. I was completely broken. I had my 3 young children at home and had to take care of them, getting them to school etc. But I had amazing support from my parents and close friends.

Definitely file that experience away when considering the future. You have support and you can handle the kids on your own.

In the 5 days she was away we talked a lot over text. She asked me if I still want to be married and I asked her "why would I want to stay married to someone who clearly doesn't love or respect me, and has zero loyalty?" This hit her hard and I think was the shock she needed because at this point she told me she would do absolutely anything to fix this and win back my love and trust. I told her I didn't think she had it in her but she was welcome to prove me wrong.

Ok, your question woke her up. Was it purely rhetorical? Did she answer it? Have you answered it for yourself?

She returned home two days ago and we have talked and talked and talked. I've had her describe to me in explicit detail everything that happened in the times they spent together. This not only helped me to stop imagining what happened, but made her really face the idea that I now knew everything. I didn't allow her to skip past any detail and I trust that she's been 100% honest (because really, it couldn't possible GET any more honest.)

Overall I would say that's a good thing. I'm a rare example where following a similar discourse, my fWW didn't trickle truth me. Our communication definitely improved for a time, but for me, I was still holding back honesty about things I didn't like as other things generally improved because I didn't want to "ruin forward momentum". Look out for that.

She's repeated over and over how remorseful she is, how stupid she was, and how much she loathes herself right now for the hurt she's not only caused me, but our children and families.

Expressing remorse is certainly better than NOT expressing remorse. You will have to see what actions she takes to back up those words.

What helped me understand in having her describe everything (it certainly wasn't pleasant hearing any of this, but I'm glad I know) is that my wife's stupid choices were born out of this guy taking advantage of her low self esteem.

As we like to say on this board "gently", she isn't taking responsibility for her choices then. This guy is an inanimate object as far as you are concerned. The knife she stabbed you in the back with. What's to stop her from being taken advantage of again when she is feeling down? How could you ever feel safe knowing that she is incapable of maintaining fidelity when she is feeling down and someone is there for her to make her feel better?

We've been together for 15 years, and naturally, when only person is telling you how desirable you are, you do start to wonder if that's the general consensus out there. He was saying all the right things, and she fell for his charm, and then simply got caught up in the thrill and danger of the whole thing. Not once in the conversations I read did she say anything negative about me, or discuss leaving me. It was clear that she remained committed to me, despite the affair.

As it relates to the ego boosting vulnerability your wife has, that opportunity will ALWAYS be available. You ending one A won't stop this attitude she has. She is, and it's normal for this, shifting blame externally as much as she can, in this case throwing AP under the bus. Very typical.

It wasn't an exit affair. That's information, not necessarily good or bad. She is a cake eater like any other cheater. That she never intended to leave you while she was with AP has almost nothing to do with proving it won't happen again.

I've known my wife for 18 years so I can sense the slightest change in her character, and it was exactly this intuition that told me something was going on in those 4 weeks that made me start looking for evidence. She was being totally different towards me (which I now see as being driven by her guilt) and her outings were unusual and didn't make sense.

Maybe she's just not the best liar. I guess you have that going for you.

Since my wife returned home it's like I have my old wife back. We are sleeping separately but we are showing each other a lot of gentleness and affection. I want her in another bed as almost like a punishment. I've told her that this is going well but I don't want her to feel like she's had a soft landing. I truly feel that she has realized exactly what she stood to lose when I said I no longer wanted to be married to her.

I really really really hope she has had this revelation. It's necessary for R.

Last night (second night home) we ended up having sex, and it felt so good to almost "reclaim" my wife. I did not want to sleep together so soon, but I felt like the longer it waited the more expectation there would be. I also needed to remind her of how good sex with me is (because this guy only really cared about his own pleasure - she told me he was rubbish, and they even discussed it in their messages.)

By mentally comparing yourself to him, you are essentially engaging in the "pick me dance", which most of your actions so far are not along those lines.

Look, maybe this is bad advice, maybe not. You have just started what's called hysterical bonding, and it's awesome sex. Some will say it clouds your mind (it probably does) and that you should avoid it. I have a hard time saying not to do it because it feels awesome.

This morning she was a bit funny and when I asked her what's up she told me she feels like I'm rushing too quickly to forgive her and she doesn't think she deserves any of this.

Honestly, it seems like her instincts are a bit better than yours on this. She doesn't *deserve* forgiveness or R. That you are willing to consider it and work toward it immediately speaks to your commitment and is something she should be very thankful for.

All the advice in my "just found out" thread was to "DIVORCE HER NOW" (well not all, but mostly) because "she will do it again" and "she is with him now" and "it's not over."

You have smashed the A quite well through exposure. You have taken away the opportunity, you have maybe perhaps taken away some external stressors. You have not sufficiently dug in to why her boundaries are loose. Not even close. You are by the post so far, allowing her to mostly blameshift to the AP and have bought the "unmet needs" fallacy.

I know when my wife is being sincere and when she's hiding something (fortunately in 15 years this is the first time I sensed she was hiding something) and I feel like I already trust her. She offered me to be able to track her location on her phone, and offered to turn over FB logins etc. and while I first felt like I needed those things, I decided it really served no purpose.

You should have taken her up on that. Then if you didn't need it, not checked. It's like an umbrella.

A major reason people cheat in the first place is because they feel trapped in their lives, and I did not want to create a prison for her. It did not seem like a healthy way forward.

You are still buying into external motivation to cheat as being an important factor. Over and over throughout your post. Try asking this question instead of "why did you cheat?" ask "why didn't you talk to me about it?", "why didn't you use any other method to address the issues in your life?"

She did talk to you about it. She didn't like your answer. She ran off to the country and had sex with another man behind your back instead of pressing the issue.

If you believe she is justified to cheat on you for you not meeting her needs she 100% absolutely will do it again. You are very understanding of her motivation this time. Why not next time? What changes?

You need to answer these questions to be safe, or you need to accept being in an unsafe relationship with a person that will go get their needs elsewhere instead of pressing the issue with you.

All that said, I do think that playing relationship cop long term doesn't work. I agree with you. Short term, it's necessary to rebuild trust.

Everyone was telling me to demand that she end the affair, start no-contact, and block him. I then pestered her for the next 24 hours to ensure she did it. In hindsight I wish I had actually said "If you want to be with him, go now, I won't stop you. But if you do, know that our marriage is over."

Bigger usually gives just this advice. I think in your case, you are clearly prone to the pick-me dance, it's a good thing you got her to go NC and prove it to you, because you probably would have tolerated an unbelievable amount of bullshit if you hadn't.

It's not a choice for cheaters. It's all about the cake eating!

That would have given her a choice right then and there. Carry on her fantasy with Mr I've-known-you-for-4-weeks, or end it and move all your focus into saving the marriage that you didn't even realize was so important to you, and keeping your family together.

And when she came running back, would have been strong enough to say no? I really think you did the right thing. Don't doubt yourself on this.

I keep asking myself if I'm being naive to think this will never happen again, and to ask if I'm letting her off too easy.

In brief, yes, you are letting her off too easy. You are accepting surface level answers to the question "why" that involve primarily external factors. She hasn't even begun to examine why she was willing to lie to you in the first place.

What is your long term solution if you accept the unmet needs argument? Always meet her needs? Always capitulate? Deny her, then watch her like a hawk?

What we are doing now, which is just talking honestly and openly about everything we feel now and anything we've ever felt before, feels like a brand new level of our relationship. Things I might have wanted to talk to her before about, but didn't for fear of hurting her feelings, are now completely on the table, and she is taking a really mature approach to everything because she realizes that this stuff happens.

This is also very common, and entirely necessary to understand if the relationship is in fact worth saving. It's entirely possible this new level of openness reveals that you DON'T share long term life goals and core values. Try to keep this behavior up though, because as I said earlier in the post, I ended up back to my baseline holding things in to not hurt her after some time until it burst out again later.

I never would have imagined in a billion years that my wife was capable of doing this. And I don't believe she ever thought herself capable either.

Please focus on this. Most of us live without critically examining our boundaries. She was capable. She did do it. You have to understand why she gave herself permission to betray you. If you continue to leave it unexamined, that's what leaves you at risk of a repeat. She needs to learn how to build an impenetrable boundary.

In fact, upon reading the books and doing couples exercises together, I found out that my boundaries were not as strong as they could have been (not that I cheated, I was just fortunate enough to not be sufficiently tested). I have since improved my boundaries as well to prevent myself from becoming vulnerable to lying and cheating under any circumstance.

It would be so easy to let raw emotion dictate the future in a moment, but I am choosing to take a wiser approach, realizing that this is real life, and things do happen, and nobody is perfect, and nobody sets out to hurt someone they love. I chose to look at what was worth saving in our marriage instead of throwing it out in an instant based on anger and bitterness.

In a moment, then another moment, then another for four weeks. Hundreds of lies (told badly I suppose since you suspected it). Indeed nobody is perfect, but when they fuck up monumentally, they must make a monumental effort to improve, give recompense, and ensure it never happens again.

What I suspected would take months or years of pain and suffering and rebuilding of trust no longer seems like a requirement. My wife knows in no uncertain terms that should something like this ever happen again, it will be the final and complete end of our marriage. But I also genuinely believe that she has learned a very painful lesson herself.

Let me take you back in time. Before the A. We are drinking beers, talking about those poor dumb sons of bitches that get cheated on and take their wife back. I say to you, "What would you do if your wife ran off with another man for a month and fucked the shit out of him?"

Well? Is your answer, "Have a nice long open talk about her self esteem issues and write it off to the man being manipulative and self serving."

Look, I understand that those of us that strive for R end up being a little more flexible with our forgiveness than perhaps we expected to. But this is very important, when you look at the future, as much as she needs to understand why she cheated, you have to understand why you took her back this time and what would be different next time and why.

What is important from here is to not let the memory of this pain fade. Because as time passes, we remember events, but we don't remember the exact emotions, so it can be easy to start to dismiss the events as bad, but not "emotional murder," as I saw one writer describe it. For now I am just taking one day at a time. I'm not attached to any outcome.

It's awesome if you can actually free yourself from outcome based thinking as it relates to your relationship. However, as it relates to getting permanently out of infidelity and getting safe again, I think that should be your top goal right now.

This could work out and make us stronger than ever, but it could also just as easily not work out - and that will be fine - but I have strong hope for the former.

Anything the affair happened to encourage could have happened without the affair. The A does not get any credit for improved communication openness as far as I am concerned.

I use the cancer analogy on this one. You have cancer, get a full body scan, find other stuff wrong with you. Still need to be treated for cancer in addition to the other stuff. You could have gotten a full body scan without ever getting cancer and fixed the other stuff.

My wife is going to start therapy to work on her self esteem issues (and lack of self respect) and we are starting couple's counseling next week.

You should get into therapy too. These boards are great, but none (few?) of us are therapists.

I found MC early to be somewhat helpful, but then I ended up firing our first MC. Maybe it will work out for you, but generally on this board it is advised that you both have a handle on yourselves before you go back to think about the relationship. Many MCs will give advice that encourages rugsweeping, blameshifting, and minimization.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 12:43 PM, April 16th (Friday)]

HellFire posted 4/16/2021 11:57 AM

Have you determined she wasn't with OM just a few days ago?

How so?

Though this is the R forum, you will get basically the same responses as you received on your other thread. Those who post here, are often the same who post there. And they,we, know what it takes to really reconcile. We will tell you it is a long painful journey. We will tell you it IS possible. But there is nothing easy about it. Your wife has a lot of work to do on herself. There are no shortcuts to true Reconciliation.

It's obvious you feel your situation is unique, and your wife is a unicorn. That isn't unusual for new BS. Unfortunately, there is nothing special about your circumstances. And your wife is a typical cheater. The only thing unique, is it's happening to you.

One last thing. She was not taken advantage of. You also mentioned in your first thread, that OM took advantage of a drunk woman. That's not true. She was messaging him for months,sexually, before she met with him. Was she drunk for months? Of course not. You will eventually realize your wife is completely responsible for this affair. Not OM. Oh,he is responsible for his actions as well. But your wife,an adult, knew exactly what she was doing.

What,exactly, is she doing to become a safe partner?

[This message edited by HellFire at 11:58 AM, April 16th (Friday)]

Rnzwithscissors posted 4/16/2021 13:29 PM

I remember when I first came to SI. I said I knew everything. I said my dh was remorseful and had learned his lesson. I really believed it too..or I really wanted to believe it. I also blamed the ow, because it was easier than looking at my "loving" husband and thinking HE was to blame.

Of course I didn't know everything. Cheaters lie, minimize and blame shift. In fact he didn't stop the behavior until much later because I didn't give him any real consequences. The only lesson he learned is I was willing to rug sweep because I loved him sooooo much.

The best advice you could listen to right now is to stop listening to her words (they are lies) and keep an eye on her actions.

Unsure2019 posted 4/16/2021 16:03 PM


Decaynus

I honestly think your still in shock and it you, not your WW thatís in the fog. Please go back and read your first several posts.


But when I got home I pushed past my general rule of not snooping, and looked on her computer, and sure enough there it was in all its sexually explicit glory. Weeks and weeks of messages between them. They had sex, multiple times, and she loved it.

Read these messages again. Does this actually sound like the AP was a poor lover and she didnít really like sex with him ? Who is she telling the truth to? Iím pretty sure itís not you.

I have suggested she go away for a couple of days to her sister's. I asked her if she will see him, and she said probably. Because she needs to ask him why he's changed in the last few weeks.

After you confronted her, she still wanted to see him and ask why he was pulling away. Does this sound like someone who was never going to leave you?

She says she is torn between her life in the city and this new guy. I told her he's a scumbag, he's nothing. He takes other men's wives to bed.

Again, after you confronted her, sheís telling you sheís torn between you and him. I sure doít see much regret, let alone remorse.

The AP didnít just take another manís wife to be. Your WW willing went to bed with him. This is much harder to accept, but itís the truth. She choose to fuck him and then chose to do it over and over again. Do not white wash this.

I gave her the ultimatum this morning... end it with him now or I am leaving and taking the kids. Her response?" I didn't realise I had a timeline"

Is this the response of someone who was never going to leave you?

D, I could go on and on, but I think thatís enough. You were clearly plan B. If the AP had not kicked her to the curb, do you honestly think she would trying to R with you? She is telling you what you want to hear and you appear to be OK with that.

gmc94 posted 4/16/2021 16:04 PM

Read my tagline. Granted, my WH's first cheating was a ONS (vs a 4-week A). I forgave and we "reconciled". WH may not have been lying about that A, but he was still lying about his "secret friend" who became his LTA AP. k

Doesn't mean that's what's happening with YOUR WS, but it's not uncommon.


tread with caution is all the advice I have.

ETA:

he didn't stop the behavior until much later because I didn't give him any real consequences. The only lesson he learned is I was willing to rug sweep because I loved him sooooo much.
bingo!

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:07 PM, April 16th, 2021 (Friday)]

outofsorts posted 4/16/2021 20:46 PM

You are likely still in shock.

I think many people on this forum will tell you that Dday wasn't the most painful moment of infidelity, the pain continued to build. For me, it was at least a month until I hit max pain for others it was longer.

It's great that your WW has answered all of your questions and told you everything you need to know. My WH also told me all of the important details on Dday and then answered all of my follow up questions over the next few days / weeks / months. No trickle truth at all for me. He was also remorseful, his infidelity had ended 2 months and 10 days before his "confession" (he was about to be caught so not much credit there). We found an absolute amazing MC by pure luck and started counseling less than 2 weeks after Dday.

In many ways, I had a best case scenario for infidelity (but in other ways it was a worst case scenario). And yet I'm over two years out and still struggling more than I expected. This is still by far, the hardest thing I've ever had to do - nothing else even comes close.

It's good that it feels like it is going well. I would just not expect that feeling to continue. This is something so incredibly difficult that I really don't think you can ever go into attempting reconciliation with your eyes open. But know that even in a best case scenario this is a bed of nails, not a bed of roses.

ChamomileTea posted 4/17/2021 01:00 AM

What helped me understand in having her describe everything (it certainly wasn't pleasant hearing any of this, but I'm glad I know) is that my wife's stupid choices were born out of this guy taking advantage of her low self esteem. We've been together for 15 years, and naturally, when only person is telling you how desirable you are, you do start to wonder if that's the general consensus out there. He was saying all the right things, and she fell for his charm, and then simply got caught up in the thrill and danger of the whole thing. Not once in the conversations I read did she say anything negative about me, or discuss leaving me. It was clear that she remained committed to me, despite the affair.

You know, these are the usual excuses, so there's nothing surprising here. Here's the thing though... when cheaters tell us that they need external validation in order to feel good about themselves, what they're really telling us is that they're incapable of being self-sufficient in that regard. Basically, that's spackling up the cracks in your self-esteem with PEOPLE.
And of course, we feel real bad for those WS's with poor self-esteem and think it's all a matter of building them back up again. After that, surely they'll be safe partners, right? But what happens next time they hit a bad patch, when the daily grind of life gets them down again? People who rely on "external validation" are NEVER safe partners. Familiarity breeds contempt, and eventually getting kibbles from your spouse has all the excitement of getting kibbles from your mom. The external validation kibbles need to be washed down with the biochemical cocktail of risky behavior, you see? It ups the excitement, the dopamine, the adrenaline, etc.

I don't agree that that's what causes cheating anyway. I think those are just bad habits which need therapy, but not a cause for infidelity. I believe cheating is about CHARACTER. It's about the gap between a cheater's stated values and their actual deeds. It's about the capacity to say 'yes' to perfidy, even though you know it's wrong. It's about having a "but..." in your core value of Fidelity. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my self-esteem needs a boost". You see that, right? It's like being a little bit pregnant. You're either in or your out. You either believe, or you don't. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your self-esteem. You can have terrible self-esteem but still be strong in honoring your core values. Your inner critic can be going to town on your ass, but that doesn't make you think cheating is a valid choice when you BELIEVE it's not.

I'm not a cheater. I don't have any wiggle room in my core values. My word is my bond and because of that, I've built boundaries around what I believe. I don't have a "but..." in my values system. I have a "so....". ie. "I believe in Fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex", and it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I'm confidant in my self-esteem or not. My inner critic might be screaming in my ear all day long about how many calories were in my lunch or whether I'm boring when I talk, but it doesn't matter because my core value of Fidelity is FULL STOP strong.

I'm not telling you all this in order to discourage you. I'm in R myself for six years now. But I do think you need to beware of bad therapy models which focus on "unmet needs" and "low self-esteem" as excuses. There's NO valid excuse for cheating. It's a 100% defect in the cheater's character, in the way a WS interacts with their own value system or lack thereof. These are people who don't take REAL responsibility for their lives, for where they stand and what they stand on. And even though that sounds harsh, it's only by acknowledging that there's a problem to be remediated that it can be fixed. YOU can't fix what's wrong with your WW. She's got to do it for herself, right? And she's not really trustworthy until she does. Even if she never acts on her propensity for cheating again, it's always going to be there until/unless SHE remediates it.

Anyway, I'm thinking that you're a bit buoyed up on relief after a near marital disaster, and that's okay. Do be prepared for lots of ups and downs as you process your WW's transgressions. Try to keep problems in the marriage separate from working on the adultery. Marriages don't cheat. People do. It's that capacity to say "yes" to cheating which needs to be fixed, and she can't do it if there's any blame-shifting allowed.

Hippo16 posted 4/17/2021 08:11 AM

what
ChamomileTea
just posted should be drilled into everyone's head
but, of course, some heads don't have the necessary space to store and use:

What helped me understand in having her describe everything (it certainly wasn't pleasant hearing any of this, but I'm glad I know) is that my wife's stupid choices were born out of this guy taking advantage of her low self esteem. We've been together for 15 years, and naturally, when only person is telling you how desirable you are, you do start to wonder if that's the general consensus out there. He was saying all the right things, and she fell for his charm, and then simply got caught up in the thrill and danger of the whole thing. Not once in the conversations I read did she say anything negative about me, or discuss leaving me. It was clear that she remained committed to me, despite the affair.


You know, these are the usual excuses, so there's nothing surprising here. Here's the thing though... when cheaters tell us that they need external validation in order to feel good about themselves, what they're really telling us is that they're incapable of being self-sufficient in that regard. Basically, that's spackling up the cracks in your self-esteem with PEOPLE.
And of course, we feel real bad for those WS's with poor self-esteem and think it's all a matter of building them back up again. After that, surely they'll be safe partners, right? But what happens next time they hit a bad patch, when the daily grind of life gets them down again? People who rely on "external validation" are NEVER safe partners. Familiarity breeds contempt, and eventually getting kibbles from your spouse has all the excitement of getting kibbles from your mom. The external validation kibbles need to be washed down with the biochemical cocktail of risky behavior, you see? It ups the excitement, the dopamine, the adrenaline, etc.

I don't agree that that's what causes cheating anyway. I think those are just bad habits which need therapy, but not a cause for infidelity. I believe cheating is about CHARACTER. It's about the gap between a cheater's stated values and their actual deeds. It's about the capacity to say 'yes' to perfidy, even though you know it's wrong. It's about having a "but..." in your core value of Fidelity. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my self-esteem needs a boost". You see that, right? It's like being a little bit pregnant. You're either in or your out. You either believe, or you don't. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your self-esteem. You can have terrible self-esteem but still be strong in honoring your core values. Your inner critic can be going to town on your ass, but that doesn't make you think cheating is a valid choice when you BELIEVE it's not.

I'm not a cheater. I don't have any wiggle room in my core values. My word is my bond and because of that, I've built boundaries around what I believe. I don't have a "but..." in my values system. I have a "so....". ie. "I believe in Fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex", and it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I'm confidant in my self-esteem or not. My inner critic might be screaming in my ear all day long about how many calories were in my lunch or whether I'm boring when I talk, but it doesn't matter because my core value of Fidelity is FULL STOP strong.

I'm not telling you all this in order to discourage you. I'm in R myself for six years now. But I do think you need to beware of bad therapy models which focus on "unmet needs" and "low self-esteem" as excuses. There's NO valid excuse for cheating. It's a 100% defect in the cheater's character, in the way a WS interacts with their own value system or lack thereof. These are people who don't take REAL responsibility for their lives, for where they stand and what they stand on. And even though that sounds harsh, it's only by acknowledging that there's a problem to be remediated that it can be fixed. YOU can't fix what's wrong with your WW. She's got to do it for herself, right? And she's not really trustworthy until she does. Even if she never acts on her propensity for cheating again, it's always going to be there until/unless SHE remediates it.

Anyway, I'm thinking that you're a bit buoyed up on relief after a near marital disaster, and that's okay. Do be prepared for lots of ups and downs as you process your WW's transgressions. Try to keep problems in the marriage separate from working on the adultery. Marriages don't cheat. People do. It's that capacity to say "yes" to cheating which needs to be fixed, and she can't do it if there's any blame-shifting allowed.

Thank you
ChamomileTea
for well spoken assessment.

sisoon posted 4/17/2021 10:35 AM

I don't give a _whatever_ about 'why?' I focus on, 'What are you doing about it?'

If a WS says, in essence, 'I cheated because I needed external validation,' I can accept it. If that WS learns to distinguish between 'need' and 'desire', and if that WS learns to validate themself, that WS is probably a good candidate for a relationship, but understanding the why alone is meaningless from the POV of D vs. R.

I can accept 'low self-esteem,' 'self-hate,' etc., as reasons for cheating, but I stayed with my self-hating W only because she committed to learning to love herself.

I think I'd be willing to accept that any 'why' is OK as long as it leads to the WS healing themself.

*****

The problem isn't your W's ap's sweet words. The problem is that your W didn't say, ' No.'

That's her problem, and only she can do the work necessary to support her future fidelity, or lack thereof.

*****

If R feels easy when you're a week out, you're not in R. Now, most of us find post-d-day life to be a roller coaster, so let us know what you're feeling next week.

If you're not going back and forth between umpteen scenarios, you probably are rug-sweeping.

I recommend not committing to R at this point. Instead, watch your WS's behavior. If she continues to do things that are positive for R, you can commit to R 3, 6, 12 months out.

What's the rush?

decaynus posted 4/17/2021 15:10 PM

Hi everyone, OP here. Thank you for all the new messages, especially This0is0Fine who really resonated with me.

This morning my wife took a pregnancy test and it was positive. Thereís no chance itís mine.

This opens up a whole new angle to our reconciliation.

Right now Iím not making any decisions. Iíve told her she is still my wife and I am concerned for her well being and for now I am here for her.

I donít know how this is going to change if the pregnancy progresses. She doesnít want him to know but I am advising her that he has a right to know consequences of what theyíve done. She said she doesnít want anything more to do with him. But itís not that simple is it.

I donít think my wife could have an abortion. Sheís wanted another baby for a long time. We have 3 boys and sheís desperately wanted a girl, but I didnít want any more children (our second baby was a girl but she died at 20 weeks gestation.)

I have absolutely no idea right now where this is headed. Iím now not only dealing with my wifeís 4-week affair but now she is pregnant to him.

I know if it was me giving advice Iíd be saying ďdivorce and let her sort her mess outĒ but I donít simply stop loving this person because sheís done a terrible thing, and then abandon her. Do I??. And we have 3 children to think of - how is this going to impact them?

This0is0Fine posted 4/17/2021 16:32 PM

A pregnancy is out of my depth and I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

Personally, I couldn't have that kid in my life and couldn't encourage an abortion. That would leave me with D as the only option. Talk to a lawyer about establishing non-paternity.

I'm assuming she took two of them both in front of you. If not this could be a manipulation play. They sell positive kits on the internet.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:10 PM, April 17th (Saturday)]

nutmegkitty posted 4/17/2021 17:06 PM

OP, what a mess. I'm sorry.

decaynus posted 4/17/2021 17:10 PM

Yes she took them both with me there. She acknowledges it canít be mine.

longsadstory1952 posted 4/17/2021 17:12 PM

The stress and mental fatigue on you has to be nearly unbearable. Every once in a great while we see a thread where a guy stays with a cheating wife who is carrying anotherís child. It can be done, but it takes more fortitude than most people could possibly conjure up. Perhaps one of those here can tell you how they do it. Good luck as you navigate your way.

As to your three sons, there is nothing to do now. Eventually they will have to know, especially since everyone else in their world knows about the affair. This is a decision that should be decided jointly with your wife.

[This message edited by longsadstory1952 at 5:18 PM, April 17th (Saturday)]

nekonamida posted 4/17/2021 17:32 PM

Decaynus, you need a lawyer before you make any decisions and an IC for support. You need to know how this changes things for you from a legal standpoint. While I personally could never do this, it is possible that you can love and raise this child as your own. That's a decision that only you can make. If you go this route, you are likely much better off for legal reasons never telling OM and claiming the child as your own. BUT REMEMBER - there will likely be no take backs. You will have a short period of time after birth to dispute paternity and if you act as the child's father and miss that window - too bad. You're paying for it. So if R falls apart 3 years from now and you no longer want to play daddy to his kid, you're screwed. Sometimes even if the OM comes back and wants parental rights, the courts won't change their decision. Be very careful with what you accept and agree to. There's nothing stopping you from D'ing to protect yourself and then trying R while sticking OM with child support.

If you want to stay and be the father, why would you give OM the opportunity to muddy the waters by establishing paternity and forcing you to see him for custody exchanges? Would you feel safe seeing him every week or two? Could you handle knowing he could sweet talk your WW again at any moment and use their child to manipulate her? (I get that this is sort of silly because it's still her choice but it's a valid question to ask when you still lie much of the blame of the A at his feet)

This is a very tough decision and my guess is that you are in shock. Still feeling shock from the A and now this. Don't wait for legal advice and don't make a decision without it. You never want to look back and regret it when we're talking 18+ years of financial support.

[This message edited by nekonamida at 5:33 PM, April 17th (Saturday)]

ChamomileTea posted 4/17/2021 19:34 PM

R isn't impossible under these circumstances, but it IS more complicated and more difficult. You'll definitely need to see an attorney in order to terminate paternity. In most jurisdictions, you're the defacto father if you're married to the mother, and you don't want to allow that to stand. Should your WW decide to keep the child, you could always adopt if the OM signs away his paternal rights. We've seen that happen. But you want to keep the MOST options possible so that would mean contesting paternity.

It's really early for you to be making big decisions about R. Most people are still in shock at this point. You're best bet is just to keep your options open and refrain from making commitments until you've had time to know your mind on everything that's happened. The kneejerk reaction is usually to try and salvage the status quo, but you'd be wise to resist it for as long as you can. Believe me, feelings are subject to change just now, and for quite a while in the future too. Give yourself time. The only thing you really have to take care of in a timely way is getting an attorney and legally contesting paternity. Everything else can wait until you're sure of what you want.

CaptainRogers posted 4/17/2021 20:38 PM

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this bombshell as well.

You've gotten great advice thus far. Schedule with your IC if you haven't already. I can't imagine any amount of pre-counseling that would prepare you for what you just found out.

Find the best family law attorney that you can. This is about to become a very difficult process.

We're here for you!

WilliamM posted 4/17/2021 23:02 PM

That is heavy. I will admit, if it was me. I would be done. She would have to abort to save the marriage. If she choose to keep the child, we would divorce. If you can raise another man's child, with that man in your. And your wife's life forever,you are a better man than me.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/18/2021 00:18 AM

I am so so sorry to hear of the double whammy awful news you have gotten decaynus. I agree w the others that you, as anyone else put into your situation, are right now in shock. Even before you heard of WW's pregnancy. You just want your life back and so you are hoping that if you squint hard enough things will look like they did not even 6 weeks ago. Absolutely normal but please be aware how this can lead you to some awful decisions, decisions that just do not serve you.

PLEASE lean hard on both a good lawyer and a good IC--two seperate people. Right now you need to be focused on protecting yourself and your 3 sons too.

And please keep posting here as well. We are all rooting for you and we are in your corner!


ETA: Sorry about the stupid smiley icon in the heading of my post. Somehow I mistakenly hit that button. I don't know how to get rid of it.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 12:36 AM, April 18th (Sunday)]

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/18/2021 00:27 AM

And....low self-esteem, good grief, is that just some universal excuse WW give for cheating. Man I just have a tough time accepting that. I think the problem with your WW really is instead overly high *self-entitlement*. She felt that to make herself feel better, she was *entitled* to both you her husband, AND someone extra on the side! Nevermind her vows and what that would do to her family.

AND ON THAT NOTE...she told you that even during her affair she was "committed to you". No, what really was instead happening was that she had no intention of giving up the safety and security of having you her husband while she chased around town-scumbag OM. She was instead USING you.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 12:52 AM, April 18th (Sunday)]

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