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Wife of 17 years has been having a multi-year affair

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iceman1000000 posted 5/27/2021 12:32 PM

I just found out my wife has been having an affair for at least a year or two possibly longer with someone almost half our age.

I feel totally devastated and am trying to figure out how to confront her. I have the opportunity to catch her in act, but I don't know if that is the right way to approach it.

We are both almost 40, have been together 17 years. We have two young children. For the last year there have been some strange things that made me suspicious.

She is a commission only sales person in the mortgage industry, so as thing have been getting hot in the housing market, she has been coming home later and later saying in is because she is swamped†with work. I believed that because I know how busy it can be.

We made the decision a couple years ago that since it was getting so busy, and money was good, that I would stay home to raise the kids while she worked. We decided we wanted one of us to do that, and she preferred it was me, because she didn't want to lose all her contacts in the industry.

So I have been taking care of the kids while she works and she is rarely home before 7:30 at night. That has been tough, but she said it is because people shop for houses in the evenings, so that is why she has to be available until then.

About a year ago when she was showing me pictures of the kids on her phone she accidentally came across a topless picture of herself. She quickly stated she took that to send to me but forgot about it. That isn't the kind of we send each other, so that started making me question.

Then a few months later she started taking selfies of herself, which also is not normal. Although it is probably abnormal for people our age, we aren't on Facebook Twitter etc. So her taking seflies again had me questioning things.†

I was rely torn at this point, because I wanted to know if she was cheating, but part of me felt like there is no way she would do that, and the other part didn't want to know.

I decided i needed to know, so I decided to enable google tracking on her phone in the fall.

She drives a lot for work, and I couldn't figure out any pattern that would imply cheating with the tracking. So I tried really hard to let it go.

The Christmas came, and I when I was opening up some packages that were delivered, she freaked out grabbing one with her name on it, telling me to not open it as it was a present for me.†

I kept track of the package until she opened it, and made sure i knew where she put it. I checked it when she wasn't around and I found mens clothing that wasn't my size. Also some bed sheets. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and figured maybe they shipped the wrong size.

Christmas came and I never got the clothes, and the sheets never appeared either.

Since then to now, I have been pretty sure she has been cheating, but anytime I would try to find out more I would chicken out, not wanting to know because that would be devastating. I also couldn't bear the thought of divorce. Not only do I love her, but if she left me I don't want to lose my kids for half of the time.

However it has been slowly eating away at me, and have been miserable and physically sick. I have had a few different doctors appointments trying to find a solution. But deep down I know part of my sickness is from trying to ignore something I think is happening.

That brings me to this week. I finally got the courage a couple nights ago to check her phone, as I know the password. She texts literally hundreds of messages a day, so it was difficult to find anything. I couldn't find any numbers that she repeatedly texted except for her girl friends.

When I was about to give up, I noticed there was one girl named Erica who texted her all day and all night. Reading the texts they were things like "I love you babe" "can't wait to get together again" etc.

I know girls can talk like that sometimes, but something felt off. So I ran some searches on the number and found out it belonged to a male massage therapist named Eric not Erica.

I then realized on her phone there is a trash section for deleted messages that I didn't know was there, and she obviously didn't either.

As soon as I clicked on that, I found all the messages from him. Very explicit sexual content etc. Apparently they have been doing this for what appears to be a couple years. Not only that, but he has been buying our kids gifts, and my wife is discussing having kids with him when he is ready.

It gets worse from there. I decided to check the google history I had turned and cross referenced it with the text messages talking about seeing each other.

She has been visiting hotels for sometimes 3 to 4 hours a day during work days. Some days she is at an address I found out is his house.

Meanwhile the kids and I are home hoping mommy will make home in time to play.

Again it gets even worse. I check her day planner while she is in bed and find all the hotel dates are in her planner under a certain acronym. I can now cross reference the texts, the google history and the planner to days she is at the hotels.

But wait there's more. She pays the bills and balances the checkbook. I decide it is time check that out as well. I find that on those same days she goes to be with him she withdraws exactly $1,000 in cash from our bank account.

I am honestly in shock right now. I feel so alone and helpless.†

I appreciate anybody that took the time to read all that. I just found out tonight and have been up all night throwing up unable to sleep. So sorry for the long ramble.

As it is now, I found in the deleted texts that tomorrow they they are meeting again at a hotel. I am unsure what to do. I want to confront her, but don't know if I should talk to her in person and ask her straight out if she is having an affair, or if I should show up at the hotel.

I don't want to cause a scene or anything at the hotel, I just want to see her face knowing she is caught and hopefully she will see the pain it has caused. I have no interest in even addressing the other guy.

On the flip side, if I confront her the night before she meets with him, that would be later tonight, I would be curious to know if she would be honest about it with me, or if she would lie.

I worry too if I confront her the night before and she lies about it, she will make it harder to catch her in the act the next time. I can always just show her the proof I have, but i know she will get upset i got on her phone and will probably blame it on a friend who used it etc.

Anyway not sure how to proceed but at the very least I feel somewhat better just getting feeling out. Thank you to anybody who listened or who has any ideas on how to proceed with confronting her about the situation.

TheBod posted 5/27/2021 12:43 PM

Sorry this is happening to you. You have found the right place though. We've all been where you are right now.

My advice as first steps:

Get a lawyer.

Make sure you and your kids are safe.

Is there a way you can get your assets out of the bank account into an account she cannot access? Protect your assets.

Get a copy of all the texts for yourself to prepare for D. D laws differ depending on where you live and with that she may have the upper hand in child custody even though she's the one who destroyed the marriage. Arm yourself with evidence.

When you have all of the proof secured, you can confront her, kick her out and file for D. Then you can consider under what conditions you will accept her back. If there are none, then move on with your life.

Prepare yourself to see more ugliness from her when you confront. She is going to lie, blame you and gaslight and basically make you question your own sense of reality. Do not buy into it. You have all the proof you need.

It's a horrible horrible time right now, but you and your kids will get through this. Just breath, keep the kids safe and act purposefully. You're doing great so far.

[This message edited by TheBod at 12:49 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

asc1226 posted 5/27/2021 12:55 PM

Do you think you think you donít have enough to confront now? That would be the only good reason to go to the hotel.

I don't want to cause a scene or anything at the hotel, I just want to see her face knowing she is caught and hopefully she will see the pain it has caused.

Cheaters often lose empathy for their betrayed spouses during and in the immediate aftermath of their affair. The most you can expect upfront is regret for getting caught, not remorse for the pain and trauma she has caused you.

If you do choose to go to the hotel, stay in the lobby. If voices get raised, leave immediately. You do not need domestic violence charges added to your worries. That reminds me. Go to Best Buy and get a voice activated recorder. Have it on you when you do decide to confront.

Jameson1977 posted 5/27/2021 12:58 PM

Sorry you are in this situation iceman. You have more than enough proof to confront her but I would absolutely speak with a lawyer to determine the best path forward legally.

Keep multiple copies of your evidence in secure locations. Speaking for myself, catching her in the act might sound like a wise move, but knowing myself, I donít think that would go over well, not sure I would be able to contain my anger.

Since you have more than enough information to confirm she is in an active affair, take a lawyers recommendations in terms of confrontation, next steps, etc. I donít think you can legally kick her out of the house, but no harm in asking her to leave, but legally, she has as much right to be there as you do.

She will likely deflect, gaslight you, etc. Read TheWrongedOneís recent post in terms of confrontation and steps to take afterwards. His post is near the top of the JFO page, he handled it like a champ.

Iím sure others can point you in the direction of other BH/BW as to how they handled confrontation.

Iím really sorry you find yourself here.

Robert22205https posted 5/27/2021 13:04 PM

What state are you in? Talk to an attorney (the first hour is often free).

You are actually in a very strong position. As a stay at home Dad, you may be entitled to alimony, full custody, plus child support.

Save all the evidence in a safe place.

Never (NEVER) admit how much you know or your source of information. NEVER admit it.

Why? because cheaters always admit only what they think you know (so don't tell her). You can always say she'd been seen with the OM (name him) at hotels (name them).

BlueRaspberry posted 5/27/2021 13:14 PM


I would not confront your wife or let on you know about the affair UNTIL you've spoken to a lawyer and understand your options. You need to plan for the worst and hope for the best. So start planning with a lawyer how best to proceed. Do you need to continue gathering more evidence? If so, how much and what type? What will you do if you confront and she leaves and stops paying bills? How can you protect yourself and your kids? You may need to file for divorce to protect yourself and your kids and worry about any potential reconciliation later. You can always withdraw the divorce proceedings. However, since this affair has been going on for years and your wife is discussing have kids with the OM, I think the likely outcome is divorce.

Robert22205https posted 5/27/2021 13:18 PM

He sounds like a male prostitute charging $1,000 each time. There's a good chance she will want to stay married, avoid public exposure, etc.

Unless you're made of stone you probably will not be able to not confront. So do it today before she meets him tonight.

Do not cry beg or try to be extra nice. In her current state of mind she will see you as weak and undesirable. Leave the room to cry.

Write up a talking points outline and do not respond to anything she says until you are finished.

Inform her you know she is cheating and any further lies will totally destroy any chance of saving her marriage.

State that your initial reaction is divorce but will make a final decision in 90 day (you can extend if necessary).

In the interim, she has 90 days to prove she deserves a second chance.

She must immediately:

1 - never speak to or contact the OM ever again. And send a no contact letter, reviewed by you.

2 - she must provide a detailed two year timeline of her affair (how it started, when where and how they communicated and met up, all cash withdrawals related to her affair, what they talked about, including how she felt before during and afterwards upon coming home to her family).

Inform her that the timeline is subject to a polygraph test (to discourage further lies or withholding information).

3 - do not agree to her leaving to stay the night with a friend (she'll run directly to the OM).

4 - Consider taking the weekend off for yourself to process her betrayal starting tonight. Let her stay home with the kids. She can answer client inquiries at home by phone (all the files are online).

5 - without warning her in advance, expose her tonight to her family and friends. Nothing kills an affair like exposure.

6 - transfer half the cash from the bank accounts into your name today.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 1:22 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

iceman1000000 posted 5/27/2021 13:22 PM


Thank you all for the advice it truly means alot! I was shocked to such great responses so soon.

Clarifying some of questions.

No I dont have any way to transer money without her knowing. I honestly dont even know the login information.

I do have pictures I took of all the text messages, plus pictures of the google tracking showing her car parked at the address of the hotel for hours. I aldo took pictures of the checkbook with her writing showing the $1,000 in cash she has regularly been withdrawing.

I thought about a voice recorder, but years ago I learned it is illegal tape another person without their consent. So I don't want any legal trouble.

I am in Idaho by the way for what it is worth.

If I do confront her at the hotel, I dont want any physical altercation. I'm not a fighter. I actually though about calling to ask if she is at work. She will say yes. Then I will ask if she can go out to her car to give me the numbers on some paperwork I left it it this week. I would wait for her by the car. I assume he will stay in the hotel room which is what I would prefer.

I will definitely check out TheWrongedOnes post.

The other thing that I am stressed about is that today I found her older dayplanner, and these hotel meetings have been going on since at least 2018. So longer than I thought.

But my concern is that my kids are 1 and 4 years old. What if I am not the father. I know this would probably be a question for a divorce attorney, but if the kids are actually not mine, can she take them away with full custody if he is the father, even though I have been raising them.

Butforthegrace posted 5/27/2021 13:24 PM

I'm sorry you're here. It's an awful club to join, and no member wants to be a member.

The best strategy is to keep your cards to yourself until you get some ducks lined up. Copy the incriminating evidence and make a file of it. Get photos of them at a hotel, etc.

Hire a good lawyer and find out what a post-divorce life looks like. Clearly, she will need to pay spousal support to you, and you have a decent shot (depending on your state) of getting primary child custody given that you're the primary caregiver of the kids.

As to the questions of parentage, I'm assuming she listed you as the father on the birth certificates? In many states, the law presumes that a husband who is married to his wife is the biological father, and that presumption becomes fixed in stone after a fairly short time period. Again, talk with a lawyer.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:27 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

This0is0Fine posted 5/27/2021 13:27 PM

You know she is having a long term affair that is physical and emotional. There is nothing to be gained by letting them meet up again for your exposure/confrontation.

For your own safety I wouldn't want to confront at the hotel. OM will be there and you don't know how things might play out or escalate.

Do record your confrontation with your WW (Idaho is single party, so if YOU are part of the conversation, the recording is legal).

She will lie to you no matter what. Even if you caught Eric balls deep in your wife, she would yell out, "It's not what it seems!" like some terrible daytime drama.

Is this a dealbreaker for you? It would be for many people, but you have to make that decision for you. How do you want to move forward?

No matter what, you should see a lawyer, just so you know what that option looks like. Pre-emptively see the best 3 or so divorce lawyers in the area. This will give you good consults and prevent your WW from using them.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 1:30 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

Robert22205https posted 5/27/2021 13:28 PM

Does she have parents, church or any kind of public or professional image she's proud of? If so, she's terrified of exposure which gives you power.

I think that emotions could escalate quickly if the OM is present. The OM is a wild card that you can't control. Plus the OM didn't betray you (she did). Leave the OM out of the confrontation.

Call tell her there's an emergency at home and to come home immediately. Keep her off balance. And never admit how much you know or how.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 1:29 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

elKAPPYtan posted 5/27/2021 13:31 PM

Sorry you are here Iceman. Idaho has both no-fault and at fault based divorces, and one of those is adultery. I say that you don't be the one to meet her at the motel, I would recommend hiring a PI and have them get photographic evidence, with date and time stamps. Talk with a lawyer about the sort of evidence is needed, and what it will impact (property division, child custody, or support awards)

iceman1000000 posted 5/27/2021 13:32 PM

Thank you what you are saying makes good sense.

Thanks for the detailed plan. What I find interesting is the male prostitution thing. I actually noticed in one of their text messages he mentioned bringing $850. I had actually wondered about the male prostitute thing, but their texts sre talking about how they love each other and about our kids, who he apparently buys gifts for. He also thanks her alot for helping get his massage business going. Maybe he is financing it through prostitution. But they act like they are so id love.

Robert22205https posted 5/27/2021 13:33 PM

The VAR is for your protection during the confrontation. So she can't accuse you of being violent or physically threatening. It's ok if she knows you're recording the confrontation.

Robert22205https posted 5/27/2021 13:38 PM

The massage business tanked during the pandemic. She may be supporting him and his business.

There's a good chance that he's just using her for her money and is not interested in taking on a ready made family (with a cheater).

Good luck. Know that you are not alone.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 1:38 PM, May 27th (Thursday)]

asc1226 posted 5/27/2021 13:38 PM

I thought about a voice recorder, but years ago I learned it is illegal tape another person without their consent. So I don't want any legal trouble.

Most states are one party consent, but thatís beside the point. Youíre not going to submit this in court as evidence, if things go sideways youíre going to play it for the responding officers to stay out of jail. False DV charges are not unheard of in these situations.

But my concern is that my kids are 1 and 4 years old. What if I am not the father. I know this would probably be a question for a divorce attorney, but if the kids are actually not mine, can she take them away with full custody if he is the father, even though I have been raising them.

Youíre correct, this is a question for an attorney. But since you are legally their father, OM would likely have to spend a lot of money to gain custody if he is the father. Something I doubt a $1000 a pop man whore would be very enthusiastic about.

iceman1000000 posted 5/27/2021 13:45 PM


Thank you all for the details. That makes me feel better that maybe she wont be able to take the kids away.

I also feel like the general consensus here is to not confront her at the hotel. I think I am leaning more towards that the more it is suggested. You are all correct, I don't want to have a confrontation with her lover.

Yes she does have a professional image she is proud of, but I think she also knows I wont drag it through the mud, which is probably true.

Yes if I confront her here I will definitely record it.

I like the idea of having a PI get pictures, but I wont be able to get somebody lined up by tonight, and I dont think they are meeting again for a couple weeks. So I dont know if i can hold it in without confronting her for that long. I feel like I am barely keeping it together as it is.

Sharkman posted 5/27/2021 13:47 PM

Donít try to plan perfect and throw good out. Your goal is to get out of infidelity.

ďI know you are having an affair and I am speaking with a lawyer. That is all I am going to say about thatí is literally all you need to say.

BlueRaspberry posted 5/27/2021 13:48 PM


Another poster mentioned checking with several lawyers to get consultations - this is good advice. Once you've identified 3-5 very good lawyers, get the free consultations so you can choose one you're comfortable with. If you have any friends/family in the legal profession you can trust, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Whether this is or is not a complete dealbreaker, you should not confront at this point and engage a lawyer to set up your game plan. You have the advantage since she does NOT know you are on to her. Use that advantage.

Once you do confront (either through a discussion or serving divorce papers), do NOT play the pick me dance. Oddly enough, if you want to reconcile, this is likely the best way to proceed. Let her know she is free to see the OM, but not as your wife. You do not share your wife. Then institute the 180 (see the Healing Library for more details).

Good luck!

elKAPPYtan posted 5/27/2021 13:49 PM

but I wont be able to get somebody lined up by tonight, and I dont think they are meeting again for a couple weeks. So I dont know if i can hold it in without confronting her for that long. I feel like I am barely keeping it together as it is.

perhaps it is worth a phone call, you might be surprised. especially if you already know the time and place.

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