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Promised to end it but cheated anyway...

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highvoltage posted 6/15/2021 09:36 AM

I'm new here... having a bad day as one can imagine!

I'm going to try to resist the urge the write an entire novel here... but my wife and I have been married 10 years, we are in our mid 30s. I've always been devoted and faithful to her; but recently I noticed her drifting away, starting to focus on wanting to "be young again" and "go back to the dating world." It seems there wasn't anything I can do to stop this chain of events, but one of her complains regarding me was excessive work / no work-life balance. (I could write a book on the topic as well, I work hard to keep her happy because of her insecurities over our financial status/home etc compared to others in the circle; but that's not key here, there are always two sides) and also lack of libido on my part. While libido was average statistically and I'm not badly out of shape, I could be in better shape and stress/lack of fitness does affect my our sex life. Plus she is a very sexual person.

So, I decided to scale my business way back, get rid of the stress and be there for her in an effort to rekindle our relationship. I put a great deal of effort into getting the house back up the shape, going on date nights, going to the park, plus have been working out, lost weight and really increased the libido to nearly early 20s level. She seemed to enjoy that, but perhaps too little too late, as she suddenly blocked me on all social media and changed the passwords to her accounts and phone. I am not a heavy social media user so I did not notice immediately, but after some digging, I realized she was having an "emotional" (at least, but year right) affair with some 19 year old kid from another country and didn't want him to realize she is married. I discussed it with her. She admitted she was struggling and considering a separation, but after a week or so she decided it was a fantasy and she wants to make our relationship work. She insisted I was her #1, that she chooses me and wants to work on this together. I was still sad that she was so into this kid, but was happy to hear her choice. However, despite the fact she said she'd appear to end it with this guy, she still blocked me out of her online life and did nothing to rectify that (Which is most of her waking hours) (Plus the usual password changes on phone, etc) so I remained suspicious.

She ended up having to go on a work trip the country where that guy lives (Which is not a rare thing)- however, I said given the circumstances, she should call in sick, or try to get out it - she claimed she could not, but said this was her last trip there and she would bid off that area, she was emphatic in her promises that should wouldn't damage our relationship by taking the emotional affair to a physical level, and that she had already ended it with him and loved me. She sent me some texts about the food and such to make it seem normal... but, unfortunately, that was a lie. I used a voice recorder and as soon as she arrived in the hotel, she had that guy come up and they had sex for hours, he spent the night. Most gut wrenching moment of my life, I got to experience the audio first hand. I'm torn between an ignorance is bliss and the need to confront reality mentality, but here we are.

I confronted her and informed that I want a divorce, she initially lied but admitted it, saying she made a mistake, and we shouldn't throw away our entire marriage because of one mistake. She went on the whole usual copy/paste torrent of words "It meant nothing" "That guy means nothing" "I was confused but now I'm not" "Now I know I just want you" "I was wondering what an open relationship would be like." She even was saying one slip up in 14 years is not abnormal and she allows or would forgive me if I was on the other side. She was basically grabbing my legs/feet/shirt trying to keep me from walking out the door. She then even drove 4 hours to bring me food and apologize at my place of business (and now my home I guess ugh). (Something she'd never do previously). But...the things she said to the other person (You're the love of my life, I adore u etc) and the recent drive to visit me; if she had put any effort like that into me/us, work/life balance wouldn't be an issue. Of course she says now she know where her priorities are; it was a mistake.

But I feel like this isn't a "mistake," because she was reaffirming the desire to work on the relationship, that she promised not to do anything etc prior to the event; this was preplanned, not a random drunken accident. Because of the lip service, I basically feel like she was telling me this whole time "I'm going to go have my fun plowing this teenager, then when I'm done, I'll come back to my faithful comfortzone and you're gonna just to just deal with it"

Plus, I obtained photos of the guy in question, he's basically a player club rat; the exact opposite of me. I'm just 100% soul crushed, I wonder the usual; can I ever trust her again, how can we repair this etc? It's extra bad in my situation because I've given her all my time/energy and have literally not a single friend or acquaintance in 1000 miles. It's not good. I'm really struggling on if I should divorce her or not; this is not the first time I've suspected anything but it's the first time I've obtained proof.

Forgiving her would be the "easy way out" but since lies come off her tongue so effortlessly, I just have trouble even accepting her apologies and that it was a mistake, regardless of how genuine they seem.

rugswept posted 6/15/2021 09:49 AM

Mistake... sexting and then meeting him in his hotel room is not a mistake, it's a serious of choices that could end her M at any time. And then, glorious sex for hours.

A mistake is buying whole milk when you mean to get skim milk. Fucking the brains out of a 19 year old hot ass is not a mistake. It's a fulfillment of a fantasy and a dream.

Your initial reaction is the right one - done. No children? Why waste time with this cheating woman who wants to go back to the single life. Tell her it's time to go back and fuck the brains out of that hot kid.

nekonamida posted 6/15/2021 09:57 AM

Welcome to the best club no one ever wants to join. There is good information in The Healing Library. Check out the 180 and implement it.

But I feel like this isn't a "mistake," because she was reaffirming the desire to work on the relationship, that she promised not to do anything etc prior to the event; this was preplanned, not a random drunken accident. Because of the lip service, I basically feel like she was telling me this whole time "I'm going to go have my fun plowing this teenager, then when I'm done, I'll come back to my faithful comfortzone and you're gonna just to just deal with it"

You're right. It was NOT a mistake. And she didn't just make "one" mistake. Every text she sent him was a conscious choice she made. Not dropping him after you found out was a choice she made. Going on that work trip - if it even was for work - was a choice she made. Meeting up with him in the hotel and every moment spent with him afterwards were choices that she made. Telling him what she told him were choices that she made. Even if we could agree it was a "mistake", she made thousands of them. She made the wrong decision for your marriage at every opportunity to get back on the right path. As long as she keeps telling you lies about how it meant nothing and how it's a one-time slip up, she is not safe and she is likely to keep seeing him in secret.

See a lawyer first. You don't have to file. Just get information in case you need to file. Get yourself into IC. It's going to help you no matter which way this goes.

If I were you, I'd tell her that she needs to cut this guy off in front of you and come clean to him about being married, that she needs to give you open and unlimited access to her phone and accounts, and that she needs to write a timeline of the affair, any other affairs or transgressions, and pass a polygraph test to prove that she is being truthful. If she refuses, you have a clear answer about how she isn't going to R with you. If she does it, you can take more time to think about whether you want to move forward or not based on the information you now have.

One more thing - could you imagine dating someone fresh out of high school at your age? What do they even have in common? Doesn't he still look like a "kid" to you? That alone would be a deal breaker for me so don't feel ashamed for being extra grossed out by her choice in OM.

scaredwoman posted 6/15/2021 09:59 AM

Welcome to the place no one wants to be.

She did not make a mistake. She chose to see this guy. She even lied about it at first. Had she not been caught, you would not have known and the affair would have most likely continued.

So, you know she went back on her word of letting him go, and she lied about seeing him. She said she loved him. She then says her head is clear and now she is choosing you. Actually, she chose him and you are the Plan B.

You should NOT be anyone's Plan B. Except right now you are hers, and you will have to decide if being the 2nd choice will be good enough for you.

highvoltage posted 6/15/2021 10:03 AM

scaredwoman, this is exactly how I feel. And I think it will be hard to R because of this; and the fact that she pretty much would ignore my request to stop as well as that from everyone around her. She was committed to her plan, and probably thinks I do not have the stones to leave her.

That remains to be seen, but I'm leaning towards it.

TheMockingBird posted 6/15/2021 10:06 AM

Cheating is never justified, but in her case that goes double. Maybe it originally started due to you being distant and busy with work, but you saw the signs and made significant steps to rectify that and be a more present partner.

Their was zero reason for her to continue this other then her selfish wants. You were present, you had talked, you expressed your concerns about her trip, and she fed you lies.

Now that the cats out of the bag, she's back saying all the usual cheater nonsense, "it meant nothing", "don't throw our marriage away", "now I know I want you" (ugh) etc.

Unless you have kids, theirs zero reason to not go the divorce route. This woman has zero remorse, don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise, her four hour trip means nothing in the grand scheme of things. She knew you were concerned about her trip, she brushed off your concerns and choose to go looking for this guy. It wasn't some random encounter at the airport, they got in contact and planned to see one another.

She probably figured it'd be a one and done arrangement, that'd have zero consequences. That's how little she thought of you and your marriage.

Marz posted 6/15/2021 10:10 AM

Sheís only sorry she got caught. You are married to a cake eater. It sounds like you bent over backwards to make her happy and this is your reward.

Let her go. You are too young to waste your life on her.

If not you may get this again. The capability is certainly there.

You are correct this wasnít a mistake. She put a lot of planning and effort into cheating on you.

[This message edited by Marz at 10:11 AM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

highvoltage posted 6/15/2021 10:16 AM

Not just concerned about the trip.. directly asked her to stop this madness and save our marriage if that's what she wants. Or, if not, then let me know with dignity.

When I found out about this (even before confirmation of it being hours of "glorious" sex) - I considered leaving her for the emotional part and played it out in my mind. But, I am finding it exponentially more difficult than I had anticipated, even now.

We have no children. I've spoken to a lawyer and have my ducks in a row; but pulling the trigger is harder than I thought. I can safely say I both love and hate her at the same time.

Wonder if I should play it out and do nothing until my mind clears a bit, see a counselor or something? Or just push forward.

How have others managed?

Marz posted 6/15/2021 10:29 AM

Only you can keep yourself in limbo.

highvoltage posted 6/15/2021 10:32 AM

Direct. Well said. Ok.

elKAPPYtan posted 6/15/2021 10:32 AM

"It meant nothing" "That guy means nothing"

Great that she threw away your marriage for literally nothing according to her.

Marz posted 6/15/2021 10:38 AM

Iím sorry but infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving.

All those bullshit excuses you got up front was just blameshifting. Typical wayward behavior. Your wayward is nothing special. No matter what you did she never stopped her plans.

Blame-shifting is when a person does something wrong or inappropriate, and then dumps the blame on someone else to avoid taking responsibility for their own behavior.


[This message edited by Marz at 10:40 AM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

Thumos posted 6/15/2021 11:12 AM

Well brother, we won't sugarcoat the situation but hopefully we won't deliver too many 2x4's your way either.

It's a shit situation and you're in for a rough ride. I'm sorry. Start drinking lots of water, and start getting good sleep and exercise. Try to avoid alcohol.

You were doing what is called the "pick me" dance. It's very common so don't beat yourself up. But I think you realize now what happened. Consider reading "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Glover and start a hard 180 on your wife. The 180 is described her on SI in several articles. No more pick me dance.

There are things you can do to take control now and get yourself out of this.

A couple of observations:

"It meant nothing" "That guy means nothing"

A lot of WS's (wayward spouses) say this, but it is an empty phrase, because it sure means something to you now, doesn't it? She's also saying this, apparently, in the context of you seeing texts she sent to the OM (other man) declaring her love for him.

Next time she tries this phrase, tell her to stop saying it because her stepping out on the marriage means everything.

It has devastated the marriage. It is an irrevocable act, which is one of a myriad of reasons why it is in the Ten Commandments.

Like murder, it is an act that creates a rift in time and space. Things can never be the same. There is no time machine. The old marriage is dead. I mean that literally not metaphorically.

"I was confused but now I'm not"

I think you can see what a bunch of word salad nonsense this is. Your wayward wife (WW) is very confused and a very broken person.

This is who she is, not who you thought she was. Not the woman you idealized when you married.

"Now I know I just want you"

She doesn't get to decide that now -- only you do.

"I was wondering what an open relationship would be like."

Paired with her desire to be "out in the dating world" you're seeing a peek at her internal narrative. This is deeply troubling because your WW has an engrained worldview, a life philosophy that allows her to treat sacred marital vows as conditional based on her own standards. It could take years to unravel this worldview.

You've got a lotta life to live and probably don't want to spend most of it "fixing" someone like this. Really.


I'm really struggling on if I should divorce her or not; this is not the first time I've suspected anything but it's the first time I've obtained proof.

This is troubling. Are you suggesting you believe she may have been unfaithful with other men in the past? If that's the case, then you're dealing with a serial cheater -- and it's rare that you can do anything with a serial cheater but divorce them. Quickly.

She even was saying one slip up in 14 years is not abnormal and she allows or would forgive me if I was on the other side.

I'm sure you understand already how offensive and ridiculous this is. This wasn't a slip up or a mistake. She verbalized her desire to do it, telegraphed it for you, then carried it out. This was a series of deliberate choices and actions to deceive you and then to betray you. She allowed another man to penetrate her and then came home to you. Think about that.

A mistake, as has already been pointed out, is forgetting something at the grocery store. Mistakes can even have terrible consequences, but they are still mistakes. Adultery is not a mistake. She didn't trip and accidentally stumble open-legged onto another man's genitalia.

That was planned and carried out deliberately.

"I'm going to go have my fun plowing this teenager, then when I'm done, I'll come back to my faithful comfortzone and you're gonna just to just deal with it"

Yes, this is exactly what she did. Good for you to be thinking so clearly already. This is known as plan A/plan B cake eating strategy. It looks to me like your wife is a classic "sport sex" cake eater.

An uncouth way of saying it is AFBB, but I think that is sort of overstated red pill nonsense.

The truthful part of that way of seeing it is that your WW, like every other human being, is subject to the sin of lust. She allowed herself to lust, and then carried out her lust.

So what to do?

We cannot tell you to divorce or reconcile, but we can give you some quick actions you can take now.

I will say that you are young, you haven't invested as much in this marriage as someone at midlife, and you don't have kids. In such scenarios, the usual advice here is to strongly consider divorce, rip off the band-aid quickly and move on with your life. Lots of us are trying for reconciliation for a variety of reasons. It can work, but it's a very tough slog. Most BH's who divorce quickly and move on seem to heal more rapidly.

With that in mind:

1. Ask her to write down a detailed narrative timeline of the affair. The whole truth. Everything. In detail. Many pages in length. No omissions. Part of the timeline should be disclosure on any cheating throughout your marriage. You already know a lot, but having her write the timeline accomplishes several goals:
-It forces her to confront the ugly truth in black and white
-It puts her on record so she cannot keep futzing around and fudging the facts, or tell you "I've already told you everything" in verbal convos. A written timeline puts a stop to a lot of mind games.
-It gives you information so you can make an informed decision about your future.

2. Ask her to deliver to you all texts, social media messages with the OM. Everything. No omissions. She turns over her phone to you for retrieval. She provides immediate access to all email and social media.

3. Both you and she must get tested for STD's immediately. Don't make the mistake of having what is called "hysterical bonding" sex with her. It will open up new wounds and you're already bleeding. I speak from experience. Stay celibate.

4. Tell her the timeline will be tested for truthfulness against a polygraph within the next two weeks. Make the appointment and tell her to get the timeline to you immediately, within two days. She can sit down in a chair and write it out. Part of the polygraph should ask whether she's cheated other times over the course of your 10 year marriage.

5. Make an appointment now to see an attorney so you can understand the divorce process. You may or may not decide to file, but you should at least understand your options. It's also important to see an attorney, because the 10-year mark for marriage can expose you as the betrayed husband to a greater alimony burden. I know it doesn't seem fair, but as the breadwinner you're probably going to have to pay her some form of support -- unless your state has a clause on 10 years and under.

6. Invoke a 30-90 day separation. Don't move out of your home. Ask her to move out to give you peace and the ability to heal.

7. Expose. Expose immediately to your WW's family. This isn't to exact revenge. Very important. It's to ensure your wife doesn't spin a false narrative about why you're separating. It also blows up her fantasy and makes her start dealing with reality.

I will say it's unlikely you'll ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Forgiving her would be the "easy way out" but since lies come off her tongue so effortlessly, I just have trouble even accepting her apologies and that it was a mistake, regardless of how genuine they seem.

It's very good you're seeing this. You're a lot further along than many betrayed husbands. I want to say to you that you should decouple the idea of forgiveness from whether you divorce or not. You can divorce and still forgive. Forgiveness is for you, not her.

Others will be along with more advice.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:25 AM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

src9043 posted 6/15/2021 11:14 AM

She telegraphed her intentions. This was so cold and calculating. You did all the work to reinvigorate the marriage and she lied. She would have continued with her behavior if you didn't catch her. Do you honestly want to spend the rest of your life with this liar? She will cheat again when she is bored. Divorce her and find someone worthy.

Thumos posted 6/15/2021 11:14 AM

When I found out about this (even before confirmation of it being hours of "glorious" sex) - I considered leaving her for the emotional part and played it out in my mind. But, I am finding it exponentially more difficult than I had anticipated, even now.

We'd be doing you no favors if we tried to claim this gets easier. It doesn't. You are experiencing what are called "moral emotions" a now scientifically documented set of emotions like disgust and anger that accompany deep transgressive acts. These don't just disappear.

You might also consider reading the well written book "Cheating in a Nutshell" so you understand better the storm of emotions you're about to endure.

src9043 posted 6/15/2021 11:18 AM

She telegraphed her intentions. This was so cold and calculating. You did all the work to reinvigorate the marriage and she lied. She would have continued with her behavior if you didn't catch her. Do you honestly want to spend the rest of your life with this liar? She will cheat again when she is bored. Divorce her and find someone worthy. Sorry for your pain, but this is a no-brainer. Allow her to live the single life she craves, but not with you being her safe harbor. BTW, she may have cheated with others.

[This message edited by src9043 at 11:20 AM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

Thumos posted 6/15/2021 11:24 AM

We have no children. I've spoken to a lawyer and have my ducks in a row; but pulling the trigger is harder than I thought. I can safely say I both love and hate her at the same time.

Wonder if I should play it out and do nothing until my mind clears a bit, see a counselor or something? Or just push forward.

I think you should strongly consider invoking and carrying out a therapeutic separation at the very least of no less than 30 days, to be reviewed by you and extended as many times as you feel necessary.

Also, see if you can find a betrayal trauma specialist in your area and start seeing that practitioner as an individual counselor. This specialty is specifically able to help betrayed spouses.

Start asking your attorney to draw up divorce papers.

Within a few weeks of therapeutic separation you should be able to take a pulse check on yourself. Living alone will give you time to calm things down in your head, and you'll know pretty quickly whether you "miss" your WW enough to even want to consider reconciling. I think you might surprise yourself.

No kids, I would strongly consider divorce.

Cooley2here posted 6/15/2021 11:41 AM

Two questions:

What kind of person is she? Not who you want her to be. Who she really is

What will your life be in 5 years, 10 years? Lots of bs lied to themselves and R only to find out years later the ws never stopped cheating.

People donít change. If she had a short EA but stopped it and worked on herself you might have a chance. I donít see any of that in what you wrote. Sometimes people are just not good spouses. They stay too childish.

RealityBlows posted 6/15/2021 12:20 PM

Wow, sounds like your WW has shown you little-if any, unconditional love throughout your entire marriage. From your brief summary of your marriage, and I could be mistaken, it seems like she's been a challenge, all along, to keep happy. Her very conditional love insidiously undermines emotional intimacy and then subsequently physical intimacy. Of course a couple will grow apart when you're constantly reminded that her love is very conditional. Conditional on providing a certain lifestyle, conditional on the provision of sexual fulfillment-to someone who's possibly incapable of being adequately satisfied. The provision of happiness-where you're responsible for HER happiness AND YOURS. Sounds like unconditional love from you with very little reciprocity.

So, you gotta stop blaming yourself. She will use this against you. She will manipulate you with your own good morals and sense of responsibility. She has the advantage over you because she's acting immorally and takes zero responsibility.

The Cheater's Playbook: Typical, cliche, standard operating procedure, straight out of the Cheater's Handbook of tactics:

Blame Shifting, Minimization, Gas Lighting, Epic displays of tears and Love Bombing.

Don't fall for it. We see it so much here, it's dreadfully boring.

"It was just a mistake":

It was absolutely NOT a mistake. Pulling off an affair, even a one night stand or short term affair, takes an extraordinary amount of work, premeditation, and subterfuge. There were literally thousands of decisions from alpha to omega that went into the genesis and evolution of her affair. She missed countless opportunities to stop this from happening and, at every step of the way, she consciously decided not to. She consistently put her needs first and your welfare dead ass last. She had countless opportunities to consider the grave damage to your marriage and the extreme trauma this would cause to her beloved, who she vowed to protect-always and, she demonstrated, repeatedly, consistently, that you don't matter. I can't imagine anything more unloving, uncaring. Would you purposely inflict this sort of pain even on your worst enemy?

This is where you're at. This is your Reality. You've, quite possibly, been living in a menagerie of you're own making and are now being thrust into reality and are seeing for the first time who you've been really married to.

Moving forward from this point is frightening. See an attorney. An attorney will pave the logistical way forward. See an IC. A good IC will pave the way forward psychologically. Start with baby steps towards self determination and get yourself out of this hell and into the arms of someone who will truly love you or, fall in love with yourself.

[This message edited by RealityBlows at 12:34 PM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

SnowToArmPits posted 6/15/2021 12:24 PM

"I'm going to go have my fun plowing this teenager, then when I'm done, I'll come back to my faithful comfortzone and you're gonna just to just deal with it"

Whoopsie. Could be quite a miscalculation on her part. The way many husbands 'just deal with it' is to divorce their cheating wife.

Hey sorry this happened man, but at least now you know. Many poor saps only ever have guesses and hunches about what's going on (Some grade A sleuthing on your part to uncover this).

Of course it has to leave you wondering how many other times has she done this?

A mistake? A teensie, eensie mistake?

You stay together, I think you need to demand an STD test. She also needs individual counselling to get to the bottom of why she acted so shitty and abusive to you. Has to figure that out or not a wife you want to be married to man.

Going to be hard to come back to your marriage after listening to that tape brother.

[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 12:27 PM, June 15th (Tuesday)]

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