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

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rambler posted 5/28/2021 22:35 PM

You need to see an attorney to protect your kids, your assets and yourself. If your wife is not 100% in you ate wasting your time.

iceman1000000 posted 5/29/2021 04:24 AM

Great advice and help.

Thanks everybody again that commented.

Ill try to respond to as many comments as I can.

Today I spent all day tracking the money. I got myself put as the primary on all the accounts I think.

I also started working on the cash from her drawer trying to tally up how much she used. It is getting difficult to keep track of everything so I am trying to get setup with forensic accountant like many of you have suggested.

The main law office that I was planning on using hasnt bothered to call me back, so thats a sign I need to find a better laywer. Hopefully I can find somebody quickly that is good.

I have been recording her and gathering more evidence. My initial reaction was to leave the massage therapist out of it. I obviously didnt confront at the hotel. I didnt feel the need to get in a fight.

However tonight I got her on tape describing in more detail how the affair started. I think I am for sure going to pursue action with the licesing board. I am undecided whether I should report him immediately, or save it for a bargaining chip.

Apparently she was getting a massage at his stuidio. She was emotional about things She was crying and he kissed her forehead. He told her she was beautiful. He grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch.

Clearly she is at fault. That does not diminish my feelings on her actions. She chose to reciprocate, but doing what he did in his position to a vunerable woman is grounds for action in my book. That changed my tune.

I also have her admitting on tape they would have sex in his massage studio while there were clients in other rooms.

Who knows whether the affair would have happened if he didnt make a move on her, and it is irrelevant at this point, but I definitely want to make sure he is held accountable for that.

They were having sex all through the pregnancy which is horrible for me to even think about.

I told my wife she needs to get an std test immediately. I am also getting my own. We are sleeping in seperate rooms. I do not plan on having sex with her anytime soon regardless of the test results.

The therapist supposedly did not know about the affair. She met with her this morning and told her.

Her mood was significantly different today. She acted much more apologetic as well as remorseful. She said she wants to meet my family in person and apologize to them. She also said her preference is to stay married. I noticed today that all gifts he bought her were in the trash.

I made it clear to her I do not think this is something that can be worked through. I told her to plan on a divorce.

Even if it doest get finalized and for some reason there is a reconciliation, I dont want to give her that hope right now. I wanted to see what her actions are based on the fact that we will be getting a divorce.

I am not falling into buying her remorse at this point. I dont whether she is genuine, or if she suddenly is just worried about what I will do in a divorce.

I feel like she is being genuine, but either way I will continue with pushing forward with the divorce and will see how she acts.

Anyway that is what happened so far. I will keep you all updated as things progress.

Thanks again for all your help. I appreciate all the comments.

Robert22205https posted 5/29/2021 05:02 AM

You did a great job of protecting yourself and kids and showing zero tolerance for infidelity.

You will be on a roller coaster of emotions. Hate, love (yes love), anger, despair ... I promise it gets better in time.

That's why you should give yourself at least 90 days before deciding on D or R (extend as necessary).

I suggest she read:
How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful Paperback –
by Linda J. MacDonald

Look up PTSD. That's what you'll be experiencing. You'll be cycling through the stages and it's good to know the stage you're experiencing for control.

One more thing to keep in mind, for some BS, they needed to actually complete the divorce process (and then remarry later) in order to heal.

Finally, I suspect you didn't sleep well. See a doctor for assistance with sleeping and controlling emotions. Even meds that give you just a week of rest help you reset yourself.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 5:03 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Robert22205https posted 5/29/2021 06:00 AM

Be aware, the initial round of tears etc from a cheater is driven by the shame of 'exposure', the loss of the high she got from the affair, and the prospect of losing her marriage. Not for the pain she caused to you.

I suggest you seek IC with someone that specializes in infidelity. Ask up front. It's very difficult to find a 'good' therapist and one you connect with. So don't be surprised if you go through several.

The great majority of the massage staff in my state are foreign born. Is Eric a citizen? If so, committing adultery may sink his plans.

Is Eric married? Why the hotel?

Recording her is a good start, however she needs to write it all down (in a timeline).

For example: who, what, where, when, how they communicated, what they talked about (especially what she said about you), how she felt before during and afterward each meeting (especially when she came home to you).

Whether you need to know the specific sex acts is up to you. Be advised that it may give you nightmares. I suggest she prepare a second disclosure of the sex acts. You can put it aside for now and/or give it to your therapist.

A timeline is good for her because writing it down translates (in her head) the affair from a harmless romance to the awful betrayal it actually was.

When reduced to a timeline the affair becomes more concrete/real (vs a dream) and helps drill home that she is broken and needs to fix herself (for you or for the next life partner).

The timeline helps you too. One it provides you with a record of events for a polygraph. But just as important to your long term healing is that the timeline provides assurance that you know everything. It's very difficult to forgive or heal when you're not sure you know everything.

Experience on here shows that if you even suspect that you don't know the full extent of her betrayal that it will come back to haunt you (5,10, even 20 years later) and undermine your relationship.

If you divorce maybe it doesn't matter so much - but you don't know that yet. And the timeline has current benefits for both of you whether you D or R.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 6:02 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

iceman1000000 posted 5/29/2021 06:01 AM


Thanks that is great advice. You are totally right about the emotions. That is exactly what is happening. I feel totally all over the place.

I also appreciate the book suggestion. I will look into that.

Speaking of sleep, I have had hardly any for the last few days so that will be a priority for me starting now.

Thanks again for the help.

iceman1000000 posted 5/29/2021 06:14 AM


I think he is a citizen. I assume anyway. I also think he just started his own massage business with employees. I bet it will cause him problems.

I do plan on trying to get the counseling.

Unfortunately for the specific sex acts, I already asked because I felt like I had to know. But in hindsight I wish I didnt know. It only makes it worse.

No wife for for him only a girlfriend. I did find out today that supposedly they were not at a hotel. She claims his apartment is right next to the hotel that google tracking showed they were at. I know the google tracker isnt always perfect so that could be true if they are in close proximity.

Robert22205https posted 5/29/2021 06:45 AM

Read up on hysterical bonding. It's very real (something that humans are hardwired to do).

It also triggers even more conflicting irrational emotions and makes the decision to R or D much more difficult.

So avoid sex until your emotions stabilize and you are at least consistently leaning toward R for solid reasons.

jujuchrist posted 5/29/2021 07:02 AM

My initial reaction was to leave the massage therapist out of it.

It's normal to ask yourself this question. A friend of mine was wondering about that too, whether he should leave his wife's AP out of it or not.

Here's what he thought:

There were 2 possibilities:

1) OM didn't know about him. In this case he technically had nothing to blame him for since this guy didn't have the information about his existence. And all the fault is due to his wife.

2) OM was aware of his existence. In this case it means that OM accepted (or worse: initiated) the principle of humiliating him by having sex with his wife. And in this case he wanted him to pay back. It was not a question of revenge but a question of restoring his honor.
Obviously he was in the case n°2 --> OM has been nuked (legally of course).

Don't forget that this guy knew about you. He doesn't deserve to be let out of that so easily. Use every lever at your disposal to make him pay for the honor he took from you, because you are not a person one can disrespect.

And there is another reason not to leave this guy alone: by doing this, you prevent him from doing it again and putting another good guy in your situation.

[This message edited by jujuchrist at 7:10 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Stevesn posted 5/29/2021 07:18 AM

Iceman. What does she claim was wrong in your marriage, besides her screwing the massage therapist for 3 years? What does she claim was lacking for her? Had you two ever discussed it? What did you think about the state of your relationship prior to her starting on the path of infidelity?

Of course nothing justifies her cheating. I just don’t want her to be able to gaslight you, making false statements about the state of your relationship to try and get people or you to think that there were any underlying reasons for the choices she made.

She did it because it felt good. She did it for her own selfish reasons. And I’d venture a guess that any issues you had the last 3 years were BECAUSE SHE WAS CHEATING and not any other reason.

Keep diligent on the path that she has years of work to do before she’s worthy of a possible chance at rebuilding and in the meantime you are going to legally end the marriage her choices have already destroyed.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 7:22 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Marz posted 5/29/2021 07:37 AM

Bud, upfront it’s not remorse it’s sorry they got caught.

You showed strength upfront . Good job.

The ones who are in control immediately come out best in these situations.

[This message edited by Marz at 8:58 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Robert22205https posted 5/29/2021 07:48 AM

She also said her preference is to stay married.

Ask her to write down:

- 10 reasons why she wants to stay married to you (i.e., not just married - but to you).

Why? she needs to think about this for her own journey to becoming a safe partner but it also helps you understand/evaluate her motives for being married to you.

It also provides you with insight into what she values about you personally. So you then get to decide if her list meets what you require from your life partner.

It also encourages her to focus on your positives. Something she hasn't done in 3 years.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 7:50 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Waggingthedog posted 5/29/2021 07:50 AM

Dear Iceman,

I would think you were crazy and your reaction to this unnatural if I had not gone through something similar myself and had similar reactions. You’ll likely deal with the shock of this for a long, long time. Think years. I am sorry.

I think you have received some excellent advice regarding the divorce aspect of your problems. For a long time, you have been a hands-off the finances stay-at-home husband and it is only now that you are playing catch up.

At a minimum, what’s fairly obvious is that your WW does not have respect for you. She’s, in essence, using you for child care and a vision of respectability for her public persona. I know this hurts to hear, but it is one of those “objective truths” that we have a hard time wrapping our heads around. We will wildly swing from idea to idea to justify how they could have loved us all those years, when, indeed, our wayward spouses did something so incredibly unloving that it’s impossible to think they did.

When you discover something like a multi year affair, I think it’s fair to believe that the person having the affair – while it was ongoing – did not love you. I think it’s also fair to say that for some time before the affair, that they also did not love you either (they need to justify the action that their mind has already decided is the course they are going to take).

The justifications – that you didn’t do X,Y or Z and therefore I “had” to have an affair – is BS that they have fed themselves to justify what they are doing.

Do people have sex outside of marriage? Sure. Do some people do it ethically? Yup. To have an ethical outside relationship you give your spouse a choice. You say “I am not feeling attracted to you and I don’t feel attached to you. I haven’t been attracted to you for some time. I want to be with someone I am attracted to, but I don’t want to lose the stability of our family. I want to sleep with other people to the point where I will end the marriage to do so. If you wish to have an open marriage then I would prefer it. You may find other suitors as well. If you want an open marriage, let’s discuss ground rules. If you want to divorce, then we will spilt and be great coparents to our children.”

That’s an ethical – but cruddy – conversation to have.

It tells you what they are going to do and it gives you a choice what you want to do. It hurts, but at least it’s upfront. It shows respect and gives you a choice.

What affairs are – at their core – is a plethora of dishonesty. The other party is willing to risk your health to have sex with other people. The other party is seeking an imbalance in the relationship where they get their needs met, and you do not get yours met. In effect, they are emotional thieves and time stealers. It’s not intentionally meant to hurt you – that’s valid. It is intentionally a choice to get everything that they want at your expense (there’s a slight different there). And if you don’t know, then it won’t hurt you. Win-win in their minds.

But, they’d be SUPER pissed if, because of the complete lack of affection in your relationship, you sought out kinky threeways and spent all the marital funds on hookers.

The reason I am writing here – assuming this is a real post – is to warn you regarding the mindset you’re likely going to slip into here.

You’ll post hoc try to find a way to believe she loved you during this time – that the evil massage therapist took advantage of your poor WW. You want to be mad at him so you can justify that she loved you, but some combination of a charming charlatan tempted your weak and confused partner.

Get that idea out of your head.

Right now your WW appears to be preparing for a divorce. She’s had three years to prepare – once she took that step of getting a lover you likely became the enemy that she’s preparing to leave.

The money stuff is SUPER fishy. Common advice is given to people on how to get prepared for divorce. Syphoning off money is one of those ways. She could have been doing this for years – extract cash from the marital account and deposit it into another (possibly in the name of an LLC or other vehicle like a trust), or stockpiling it in a safe deposit box or with a friend. She could have been taking cash payments too that never hit your marital account or been skimming with an auto debit from her salary. She could have been using it to purchase crypto currency that you have almost no way to trace.

Long story short – the advice to get a forensic accountant is necessary. Further, you will probably want, as part of the divorce case, to have the accountant examine the company books as well.

The way to deal with this – even with the shock and emotions – is to file and walk.

In her mind, what she really, truly wants, is a divorce. She just can’t say it. Because then she is the “bad guy.” She will pay lip service to reconciling, but she will not release her entitlement problem. She doesn’t want to be thought of badly. I think – ideally – the narrative she wants is “we grew apart, I had an affair, we both tried to fix it but there was just too much damage on both sides to get past. We are great coparents now and the kids have adjusted well.”

That’s what she wants to tell her friends and any potential suitors in the future.

In terms of the reality that she wants – she wants to get as much money as possible, pay as little as possible in alimony and child support, and have you to care for the kids while she lives the high life. But, she also wants that narrative I mentioned above.

In my case, my EXWW made her affair so blatantly obvious at the end that my subconscious powers of denial couldn’t stop me from finding out. I too tried to reconcile. But, realistically, that wasn’t what my EXWW wanted.

I say this because maybe you’re dealing with something different. I divorced in many ways for her. It’s got to be exhausting to have someone in love with you that you cannot stand – but that you have to pretend to love. The act is so much work, I think. Mine wanted out, but couldn’t say it.

Again, we all read in our own stories here, so take what applies and leave the rest.

What does appear objectively obvious is that you’re dealing with a spouse that has the ability to lie like a sociopath and the self preservation to prepare for the fallout. You’re probably behind the eight ball here, and you need an attorney to advise you competently.

I normally only chime in when someone is in danger – and that’s you. The likely outcome is either divorce now, or divorce after a few years of “trying” so that it doesn’t look like the reason for the divorce is her affair – but rather the squishy reasoning of “we are not happy.”

Letting the marriage go on for longer allows her to become better prepared for the divorce – such as reducing her income to avoid alimony and child support. Or becoming a more involved mother in case she’s going for custody. Personally – I’d discuss with an attorney prior – but I think that you are probably better off striking while the iron is hot.

Also, as mentioned previously, keep a VAR on you and keep it recording ALL THE TIME. Upload to files to a separate drop box account or something she doesn’t have access to. Keep it on even when she’s not there because you never know when you need an alibi in court. If she gets cornered she could make a domestic violence claim for her advantage. (It doesn’t always happen, but it happens enough to make this common advice.)

Also, don’t sleep with her at all. First, no one wants an STD. Second, it can impact “at fault” proceedings.

Again, sorry you’re here. Do with this information what you will. Play this safe because, again, you are in a fair bit of danger here.

HouseOfPlane posted 5/29/2021 08:35 AM

Nice post, waggingthedog. Wise words.

Butforthegrace posted 5/29/2021 09:17 AM

A few thoughts, in no particular order:

She also said her preference is to stay married.

See my comments below. Just days ago, she was fucking another man regularly for years, secretly taking family money and squirreling it away (or, worse, possibly giving things to the other man), and otherwise planning to divorce you. She has been at this for years. Now, suddenly, in a matter of just days, "her preference is to stay married"? Excuse me? Be careful to pay attention to her actions, not her words. Years of actions supporting the thesis that she actually considered herself divorced from you. A day or so of muttered non-pologies, and a faltering sentence or two about staying legally married.

By the way, by "staying married", does she mean that the marriage would continue to be a secret, one-sided open marriage where she has side fuck whenever she wants it? Because that has been her definition of "marriage" for the past 3 years or so, and if "staying married" means staying in the same marriage she has been in, this is a logical question to ask.

I think I am for sure going to pursue action with the licesing board. I am undecided whether I should report him immediately, or save it for a bargaining chip.

Keep this card in your pocket until after the D is final, then report him.

I noticed today that all gifts he bought her were in the trash.

Did you ask her whether she bought gifts for him? Did she ever say who the clothes were for, and the bed sheets, for example? The money stuff is sketchy. She told you in the initial confrontation that she was divorce planning and the withdrawals were for that purpose, but the timing of them -- periodically, regularly, corresponding with the gigolo sessions -- suggest she could have been gifting him money. There is a term often used here: "financial infidelity." It's another form of infidelity that often leads to divorce. From my view, your WW was unfaithful sexually, emotionally, and financially. Not just unfaithful, she was secretly divorced from you in terms of emotions and sex, and was getting her cards lined up to divorce you legally and financially.

As to sex details, what I've noticed around here is that a BH who plans to and does divorce gains little by knowing them. Possibly it could strengthen your resolve to divorce. A BH who attempts R finds that R is rarely possible unless he knows every dirty detail, as if he were a fly on the wall watching them. As painful as it is to hear them, most BH's attempting R find it more painful to know that their WW harbors a cocoon of secret intimacy with the AP and is protecting that cocoon against the marriage.

Did she share sexual acts with him that you had desired for yourself, but been denied? I believe you said that, at the very least, she participated in FFM threesomes with the AP. There have been some epic long threads on SI about this topic, but the bottom line is that most men find the emasculation and sexual humiliation that comes from learning that the WW was more sexual with the AP than with the BH is too much to overcome. Most men can't get past feeling like "Plan B" under those facts. For example, I would doubt seriously she is prepared to recruit a "sister wife" to come around your home and participate in FFM threesomes with you periodically for a few years in order to ameliorate your feelings of emasculation and sexual humiliation.

As to you, please focus on your health at present. These circumstances can be hard on a person. One tends to loose weight, which isn't always a bad thing but there was a BH on here a while ago who passed out one day from lack of food and dehydration and suffered a pretty bad knock on the head.

So be sure to hydrate, exercise, eat regularly, and stay off the booze.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 9:36 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Marz posted 5/29/2021 09:20 AM

Your wife isn’t stupid. Of course she doesn’t want a divorce right now. With her being the breadwinner alimony and child support would cripple her. Her actions tell you a lot more than her words. She needs time and will play fo it.

Inform your family alone do not allow her to set the tone.

You can’t trust her. Sadly many get played and strung along in these situations blinded by their love and denial of what’s going on.


[This message edited by Marz at 9:21 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

longsadstory1952 posted 5/29/2021 09:41 AM

There is nothing to ruminate about here. There is only one path and that is to protect yourself and the kids. It’s obvious that your wife would prefer that you stay quiet and do nothing. She kind of sounds like she looks at your marriage in the way one looks at having to travel for a business meeting. You are not looking forward to it but is is necessary.

You must file to get the stay orders. Otherwise she will keep draining the assets. This is not to say you cannot pull back later. Perhaps there is something redeemable in her. I’m not seeing it, but who knows.

As for what’s ahead there is no predictor except past behavior. It’s pretty clear she sees you as an annoyance to her life scheme so I cannot see how that changes.

As a cautionary tale, see the posts of Apparition. Like your wife, his was a cold calculating adulteress who was in it to get laid on a repeat level. She was a controller in each liaison. No hint of love for her APs. Just a user. He gave her the gift of R. Go to the R board to see how that turned out.

[This message edited by longsadstory1952 at 9:43 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Thumos posted 5/29/2021 10:23 AM

iceman, try to keep in mind that this woman in front of you is not the woman you thought you were married to.

What you're seeing in terms of this slight shift is more than likely NOT remorse. Very important. It's damage control. It's regret. They aren't the same thing. She's regretting she got caught and now has to face consequences. That's what you're seeing.

This woman in front of you is exactly who she is -- not the idealized version you've been projecting her to be -- and she has been lying and putting your very life at risk for three years.

That's who she is.

She's exactly the kind of person who would stone cold lie to you, steal money from you, put you in a vulnerable SAHD situation, use you as a babysitter, and engage in orgiastic threesome sex willingly and wantonly while laughing up her sleeve at you behind your back. All while completely being okay with you potentially getting a life-threatening STD.

That's who she is. An abuser. A user.

And it's a poison to your soul now.

So, this woman in front of you is your enemy, not your friend, and certainly not your wife.

I don't say that in a "get revenge" or venal kind of way. Though you will be very angry, that shouldn't your focus or intent at all.

I say it as a bracing way of keeping you focused on the most important thing: your safety and your children's safety and wellbeing.

Just to keep reminding you to make this about protecting yourself and your children first and foremost.

Protect yourself from her. Keep moving forward with D.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:29 AM, May 29th (Saturday)]

Booyah posted 5/29/2021 10:26 AM

Ice please do NOT tell your wife that you intend on going after this massage therapist that she's been fucking for the past three yrs (reporting him).

There are some crazy people out there and who knows what he'd do if he was backed into a corner and could lose his livelihood.

Go read 36 thread. Her affair partner was plotting to kill him.

As hard as it is you need to keep your emotions in check and more importantly what you're planning to do (with her and him).

Knowledge is power and they don't need to know what your planning.

It's Memorial weekend.
You're not going to be able to get an attorney until Tuesday at the earliest.

This needs to be your biggest priority.
Have one hired by Wednesday at the latest.

You are being played and you need legal advice ASAP!!

This isn't just about you but your kids.

A good mom doesn't blow up her family.
Your kids desperately NEED you to protect them because your wife As horrible as it sounds is the enemy.

She does NOT have your kids or your best interest at heart.

Words are just that words.

Look at her actions and there's a three YEAR track record that flat out shows her actions are an enemy.

Treat her as such.

I sure hope you got the evidence you have to a safe place? If not what are you waiting for?

As others have said do NOT tell her about SI or let her find out that you're here.

You're going to need help getting through this so continue to keep updating. Even just to vent.

Booyah posted 5/29/2021 10:33 AM

Look up his thread:


Buster123 posted 5/29/2021 10:34 AM

Your top priority right now should be to find a good D lawyer and have her served, also a good forensic accountant and third get an STD test and then a paternity test, remember your WW is a proven and skilled liar so don't take anything she says at face value.

In the meantime demand a written timeline with details about how much she spent on her boyfriend, after she gives you an approximate amount (verify with cash withdrawals for the last 3 years), tell her you want half of all that money reimbursed, and keep it somewhere safe where she can't touch it.

And yes have her apologize to the entire family for her huge betrayal, it helps with remorse and may be beneficial to an eventual D settlement. Was the 155k on the other account like she claimed ? if so take half of that TODAY ! and put it in an account in your name only, she's not to be trusted, and don't fall for her tears now, remember she was defiant until the last second when she realized all her deleted texts were archived in a different folder, she could turn on a dime, file for D and prepare for battle, remember that even if you believe her story (Do NOT), she admitted she was stashing away thousands to hire and attorney and fight you tooth and nail over EVERYTHING and of course that includes custody of the children and alimony.

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