Newest Member: girlangry89

Just Found Out :
40 Years Ago

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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 2:27 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Learned two months ago my wife of 45 years had a series of love affairs and one night stands 40 years ago. I was a brand new officer in the Army and she was finishing her college degree in the city where I was stationed. I never suspected anything and was not aware of her apparent discontent with me and our marriage. She went to a priest a few years afterwards who apparently advised her to bury it and move forward in secrecy with a pure life. I was devastated when she admitted her infidelity to me. But other than a few very clouded memories, she is unable to provide me hardly any answers to my questions. Because of the elapsed time and the life we forged as parents and successful professionals, I am trying my best to balance my anger, sadness and surprise. Because she is unable to provide hardly any details I am finding it very hard to totally forgive and move on.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673727
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asc1226 ( Member #75363) posted at 2:42 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Dav, sorry you find yourself here. Have her start writing a timeline. As she puts it in writing, more details may surface. Did any of her friends know? Or were any of them part of her friend group at the time? Ask her to contact them to see what they remember. Does she have any journals from that period? Were they fellow students? Classmates? Pull out any college memorabilia she has, see if it sparks any memories.

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 370   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8673731
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thatbpguy ( Member #58540) posted at 2:44 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I can understand. Your marriage has been, in a way, a living lie. Now, after 40 years and she feels safe and secure admitting it without any consequences or accountability it all comes out.

One thing I will say is to not rugsweep this and 'just forget it'. It needs to be dealt with as that is healthier and will enable you to go on and move forward. Be open with her and demand more truthful answers. My guess is that she knows the truth- one doesn't forget betraying their spouse like that.

I wish you well.

ME: BHHer: WWDDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I leftDivorcedRemarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4452   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8673732
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Never2late ( New Member #79079) posted at 2:58 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

These are the saddest situations. She stole your agency from you and forced you to live a lie for 40 years. I guess lying to your spouse on such a serious matter is ok for this priest...smh. Hypocrites.

My thoughts are with you. Listen to the people here. Many experienced and wise posters.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8673736
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survrus ( Member #67698) posted at 3:35 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

DavLaw,

You wrote

I never suspected anything and was not aware of her apparent discontent with me and our marriage. She went to a priest a few years afterwards who apparently advised her to bury it and move forward in secrecy with a pure life.

Sorry, Wow and for 40 years you were loyal to your WW, this is heart breaking. A woman once confessed to my W about an affair she had years ago and I don't believe she ever confessed to her H I felt bad when her H died.

I guess priests know something about concealment.

Because of the elapsed time and the life we forged as parents and successful professionals.

But did you ever regain a passionate and loving marriage or did she never love you the same, this is a question I have too.

Timeline then polygraph, btw sometimes WWs will protect their OMs for a long time, my W still defends them 35 or so years later. Are any of them on her social media.

You also need to determine if there were other affairs besides this batch.

posts: 1039   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8673745
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Badblood ( New Member #56832) posted at 4:40 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Davlaw625, sorry you find yourself here. I too found out years later that my husband was unfaithful during our relationship. 30 years ago he had a 2 month relationship with some woman from his work. What made matters worse was he brought her to my home. He too has a foggy memory and won't give me the answers I need. We have 6 children, only 1 left at home now. It's been 5 years this August since DD and if I'm being honest, things are not any better. I can't get back to what we had. We've tried counseling both together and independently and it hasn't helped. I will never look at him the same again. I hope you have more success than I have had in working through things but I'm just being real with how it's been for me. I find myself disgusted with him most times. He doesn't seem to understand the damage that has been done and why I can't get over it, since it happened so long ago. When my last child leaves the home, I plan on divorcing him. I wish you luck and I hope you find help here.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2017   ·   location: Nevada
id 8673758
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src9043 ( Member #75367) posted at 7:16 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

How did this matter come up? She knows more than she is saying. She will have to sit for a polygraph to answer whether she cheated in the last 40 years. This is simply terrible that this has come up and now you have to deal with the tremendous hurt and betrayal. Did she just confess to clear her conscience or did you learn from another source?

I don't know what I would do at this point. I might just go out and find a girlfriend and see how she likes it. She can learn to live with the hurt just like you will have to do. Sorry, but this is really despicable. For this matter to come up at this late date is flat wrong and inexcusable.

posts: 415   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8673771
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 11:26 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

She confessed when I simply asked. I knew about an 8-month affair that occurred two years prior while I was mostly away from home. We had worked through the infidelity (I thought) and I had forgiven her and moved on. Fast forward through 40+ years and our relationship was never as close as it should have been but we had children and demanding professional careers that became our "norm". Childhood abuse is certainly a factor in her behaviors at the time but keeping it a secret all these years is something else.

Recently we both retired and started gaining a different level of intimacy and closeness - a very deep, true love kind of thing that we had not experienced prior. One morning, while lying in bed, I told her I had questions about her affair when we were youngsters that I had never asked. She was empathetic and willing to talk candidly. We talked for an hour or so. Very healthy conversation. She was emotional, full of regret, and grateful we had made it through it. Then - out of the blue I asked her were there others. I was shocked when she said yes. She was a bit evasive at first but opened up that while at my first duty station and while she was completing her college degree she had several affairs and a one night stand. Besides admitting her unfaithfulness and taking responsibility for the very bad decisions, she had very little recollection. Knew a few first names but none of the details - who, what, when, where - and mostly WHY. We're working through that now.

She's willing to do a deep dive into our early lives to try to remember the details. So I have reconstructed a 6-year chronology that overlays where I was each year in the Army, where she was in school, major events in our lives, world events, hit songs, hit movies, etc. to help jog her memory. I also got a complete list of students from her alumni association for her to review. She got her transcript so we know exactly what classes she took and when. Later this month, we're visiting the military base and town (it's close to our childhood homes), and we are going to visit the college, nearby landmarks, etc. I hope the chronology, review of college lists, and the trip down memory lane will enable her recall.

Though 40 years ago, it's like yesterday to me. I've told her I want the details - I want the truth. Especially the WHY. Not trickled down truth but complete truth. And that if I do not get the truth, it could affect my ability to continue this new-found intimacy which we both want as we age. I do not know how I am going to feel if she doesn't recall the infidelities. I do not know how I am going to react if there were others throughout our marriage.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673829
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 11:46 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Thank you for sharing. Especially since your story can help others. It's very rare (on here) that we see a serial cheater self correct.

Usually the wayward thinking (I believe in being faithful unless I want/feel/need ....) doesn't change without IC and firm boundaries.

Perhaps your wife would be willing to post openly here on the Wayward forum (an open post that accepts posts from BS). IMO it would stimulate her memory and provide her with feedback on how to help you heal.

I also suggest your wife read: "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful" by Linda MacDonald

Finally, I recommend you and your wife google "PTSD". In your head this betrayal happened recently (not years ago). This truama has certain symptoms you will cycle through over and over. Recognizing each stage may help you control it.

One more thing. If you're having trouble sleeping and dealing with anger/anxiety, see your doctor. They have short term treatment plans for this stuff.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 5:47 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

posts: 2409   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8673831
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WhoTheBleep ( Member #49504) posted at 12:22 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Numerous affairs? In only a 5 year period?

Dav, I'm so very sorry. This is terrible.

What made her magically stop after those 5 years? I agree a polygraph is in order. There may be much more you don't know. 40 years is a long time to be faithful after 5 years of what amounts to a sexual/romantic free-for-all.

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4360   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8673837
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 2:44 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Wife claims that when she graduated college and had our first child a year later she overcame deep issues rooted in childhood sexual abuse. Said she changed.

To be honest - I find it hard she changed that much and didn’t have periodic flings. She didn’t seek counseling for the abuse until ten years ago. In the meantime who knows what went on .

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673870
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Marz ( Member #60895) posted at 2:51 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Sorry man but her actions over that period of time signifies a serial cheater. Don’t be shocked at what comes up.

You probably should read up on the subject.

posts: 6616   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8673872
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 2:56 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Am studying a lot. I will not be surprised. Will have to deal with the truth. So much water under the bridge but it feels fresh.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673875
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 2:56 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Am studying a lot. I will not be surprised. Will have to deal with the truth. So much water under the bridge but it feels fresh.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673876
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 3:15 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I am going to walk her through the chronology and other info next week and give her reasonable time to remember. Afterwards, depending on how it goes, I have to figure out how to move forward. I hope there hasn’t been any more since then but I suspect there have been periodic flings. Am a bit scared of finding out.

I check her phone, phone account and bank records, occasionally. I need to see if she’s downloaded (or deleted any apps) any social media. She’s not sophisticated with her iPhone so I just some time to go through it. Hate doing it - I don’t like being a sneak.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673891
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 3:15 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I am going to walk her through the chronology and other info next week and give her reasonable time to remember. Afterwards, depending on how it goes, I have to figure out how to move forward. I hope there hasn’t been any more since then but I suspect there have been periodic flings. Am a bit scared of finding out.

I check her phone, phone account and bank records, occasionally. I need to see if she’s downloaded (or deleted any apps) any social media. She’s not sophisticated with her iPhone so I just some time to go through it. Hate doing it - I don’t like being a sneak.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673892
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BlueRaspberry ( Member #76065) posted at 3:24 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Davlaw625,

Once you get the timeline of the affair(s), you should consider setting up a polygraph test for your wife. This would serve two purposes. First, this often prompts a "parking lot confession" just prior to the test revealing additional information. Second, this would provide you with some comfort as to whether the timeline was complete and/or accurate.

Good luck!

posts: 218   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2020
id 8673896
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 3:38 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Re polygraph. Though a sure way of determining the truth, if I am wrong in my suspicions, I don’t know how we would regain our trust. I will consider it though - especially if I get some level of evidence of continued infidelity.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8673903
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Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 3:40 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Please both of you look at a video done by a former Miss America. I think her time was in the 50s. Her name is Marilyn van Durber or Derbur. She is sitting in front of a green plant. She was molested by her father for years. It might help both of you to understand the huge damage child abuse does. It alters reality. If she has been a good wife all these years think about what you lose, and gain, by dredging this up. I knew my husband was cheating because I was told but I left it alone because at the time I had no skills to support myself and very young children. Years later I ask and he admitted. It doesn’t cheat the great life we gave our kids or the adventures we had. You have to make a decision whether your life was a lie or hers was. If you have been happy/satisfied in your marriage then work from that. I have friends and love ones who have lost children, declared bankruptcy, gone through house fires. I looked at my life. I lost my parents young. Still, my husband supported me through college and now we look at life as two people who do the best we can. That’s reality. That’s life.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2907   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8673910
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BlueRaspberry ( Member #76065) posted at 3:42 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Davlaw625,

I understand using a polygraph would be difficult given the closeness you've established with your wife in recent years. However, she has to understand that this closeness and trust you've established has been destroyed with this revelation. If she wants to try to reclaim or rebuild what has been lost, she needs to be completely transparent and help you feel confident she's being completely truthful after all these years of lies.

[This message edited by BlueRaspberry at 9:43 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

posts: 218   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2020
id 8673912
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