Newest Member: girlangry89

Just Found Out :
40 Years Ago

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HardKnocks ( Member #70957) posted at 4:07 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Sorry this happened to you.

As has been suggested, I strongly advise professional help in this situation.

Serial cheaters have a lot of healing to do; it's rare they can do this on their own.

Best.

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month PA
My Ducks are Aligned and I'm Good to Go! :)

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8673934
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CuriousObserver ( Member #78743) posted at 4:54 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I'm so sorry that you have been blindsided like this. Don't feel pressured to decide anything at this time. You may need 3-6 months just to get your bearings in this jungle and you will very likely change your mind frequently as to what is the best path forward. You appear to have a good grasp on steps of action.

You are experiencing trauma so don't underestimate its affects on you. Drink water, exercise, eat healthy. And another thing, you should probably paternity test your children. You can do it discreetly, like a family heritage project. If there is no new revelations, it can remain as private as you both would like to keep it. You stating that you require this could also help her realize how seriously this has hit you and help her see that this may be disclosed to your children and potentially explode the family. She has hidden this for decades and the reality of her exposure of such a treachery may help knock down the walls of deception. A polygraph can serve the same purpose of reality check.

Keep posting here. There is much experience here to help you. Don't be reluctant to seek professional help in dealing with your emotions and the impacts this is having on you. If you seek help, find a counselor who specializes in betrayal trauma. That is important.

All the best to you and your family.

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 112   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8673975
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Newlifeisgreat ( Member #71308) posted at 4:55 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Her affairs did not end 40 years ago. They JUST ended when she told you about them! She may be have recovered from them, but you’ve just been hit with them.

Take your time in deciding what you want to do. There is no problem if her cheating and lithe 40 years of lies is a dealbreaker for you.

Good luck, stay strong, and do what is best for you!! No matter what, do what you must in order to be able to look the man in the mirror each morning.

Betrayed SpouseShe cheated and I filed immediately upon discovering. She never even suspected that I knew until the moment she was served with reason being AdulteryDivorced 9/18Now VERY happy with new life, 0 regrets

posts: 664   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2019
id 8673979
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 6:44 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Welcome to the best club no one ever wanted to be part of.

Here's the most important thing you can get from us: You've been traumatized, but you can heal. You can survive and thrive. You have to find your own way through this, but you can do it. We can help by sharing our experience. BTW, if you click on the person or face icon in every post, you'll go to the poster's profile. The profile includes, often, a writeup by the poster and a link to a list of the person's recent posts, so you can get an ide of wh each poster is. It's not essential to do that, but if you're interested in where a person is coming from - as people said when we were kids - you can get some info.

*****

As I understand your history ...

W cheated about 3 years into your M, and you knew about it and 'forgave' ...

W started to have kid(s) after 5 years and you continued your M ...

You retired, got closer, and you were happy ...

W cheated with multiple men 5 years into your M, and you JFO ...

You are being eaten up by a desire for information....

Your W is a victim and survivor of CSA (childhood sexual abuse).

I presume you've asked about other As during the years and that she's said she's been faithful for the last 35 years.

Is that correct?

A couple of things:

Your W's CSA is awful to contemplate; I can't imagine how awful it was to experience. It's not an excuse for cheating, though it may explain some/a lot/all of it. My W is a CSA survivor, so I'm not minimizing the effect. That was certainly part of what enabled my W - and almost definitely yours, too - to cheat, but cheating was not the only way she could have dealt with her understandable PTSD. Your W has my deepest sympathy. But her pain just adds to your pain; it doesn't subtract from it.

Your desire for info probably comes from the idea that knowledge is power. You probably think that knowing equals understanding and understanding will assuage your pain. You're wrong. No matter how much info you get, you won't understand why your W cheated. Worse, understanding doesn't assuage your pain.

BTW, I, too, think info is usually essential. I interrogated my W for months. That's how I know it doesn't do what needs to be done. Info doesn't really help with the pain.

The only way to deal with the pain is to accept it and feel it, because feeling it lets is go. A good IC can help. The work is difficult and painful, and a lot of pain comes from being betrayed, so the work takes time.

Also, you can R without forgiveness. Forgiveness often - maybe even usually - comes with R, but it comes towards the end of the process.

You posted in JFO, and that's a good choice. The As are in the past for your W, but they're right now for you.

*****

The one good thing about finding out so long after the fact is that you have all these years of your W's behavior to help guide your decision. Most of us have to guess how our WSes will behave after the A(s) - you know how your W did behave.

You know she confessed. You can guess that she would have confessed to you if the priest hadn't been such a jerk. You know you got very close. You know what kind of W she was. You know she's done some work to remember the info you think is so important. From what you've written, you know she was a good candidate for R.

*****

IMO, the big question for you, and for all of us BSes, is: what do you want?

Do you want to live with your W until one of you dies? If so, you probably want R. If not, you probably want D. If you're undecided, you need more time to decide.

Here's some reading for you:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/what-every-wayward-spouse-needs-to-know.asp - if this resonates with you, I suggest printing it off and giving the printout to your H as 'something you found on the web.' My reco: DO NOT tell your H about SI until you're sure he's on board for R.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740&HL=14993 - serjr threads for newbies

Tactical Primer:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Boundaries and Consequences 101:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=385631

Setting Healthy Boundaries:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Before You Say Reconcile:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=406548

The Simplified 180:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=598080

20/20 Hindsight: What I Wish I'd Done:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=161389

*****

Again, you can heal. It takes time to heal, but you can almost count on it. Healing takes work, but it's work human beings are good at. You feel awful now. You may find you feel worse for a while. But if you process your pain out of your body, you will feel good again.

And if you decide to D, you're at an age when the demographics are in your favor....

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:45 PM, July 9th (Friday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26010   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8674024
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HouseOfPlane ( Member #45739) posted at 7:24 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Nice post by Sisoon:

Your desire for info probably comes from the idea that knowledge is power. You probably think that knowing equals understanding and understanding will assuage your pain. You're wrong. No matter how much info you get, you won't understand why your W cheated. Worse, understanding doesn't assuage your pain.

I'll echo that. At the end of the day, all you'll have is a bag of facts that suggest the WHY. And there's always another question to ask. A l w a y s.

But keep asking. Her answering is a way of her showing that she's there for you. That is incredibly important.

More important than WHY is WHY DID/DO YOU STOP? That tells you how she became the person she is now. That's a thing she probably has consciously chosen to do every day for the last 40 years. Every single day.

A cautionary tale...there was another poster here who got a late reveal from his wife. She was bad and had an A, she saw a religious person, she buried it and became the person she should have been (i.e., behaved the way a person should behave), the BH found out late, he couldn't cope, she committed suicide. I relate the story to confirm what you appear to already know, that this is serious. Your life and hers have irrevocably changed with her confession. There is no going back. There is only forward.

Sending strength!

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 1:31 PM, July 9th (Friday)]

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2718   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8674034
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KingofNothing ( Member #71775) posted at 7:35 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.

Of course it does. It was 40 years ago for her, last week for you. You must not allow her to excuse herself from participating in what you need from her to heal, simply on the basis of her getting away with it for 40 years. You need something from your spouse, to deal with trauma that is right here and right now, not 40 years ago.

With that said, I admire your approach of building a chronology from 40 years ago based on the public knowledge you have-- academic records, popular culture cues, etc. That is truly inspired.

Be aware, though-- she will lose patience. She will push back eventually. She will wonder what the end game of asking all these questions since "it was so long ago!" and "I've been faithful since then!" Have an answer ready. This is like the third or fourth "my partner got away with an affair for decades and it just came to light" post I've read this year (that I can remember). ALL of them deal with the memory issue. I wonder about that. I never cheated when I was married. Yet I have to assume that if I DID do that, I would remember the person's last name. Don't be afraid to push back with a little common sense.

Rex Nihilo, the King of Nothing
----------------------------------
“If you’re going through hell, keep going. Just please stop screaming, it’s not good for morale.”
— Winston Churchill

BS 3 DDays/Attempted R, it failed. In a better place

posts: 769   ·   registered: Oct. 7th, 2019   ·   location: East Coast USA
id 8674038
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RaggedyAnne ( New Member #78800) posted at 7:47 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

I don't have wonderful words of advice for you like so many of the others do. However your story is very similar to mine and I just recently found out as well. I just wanted to send you thoughts and prayers and to let you know that you are not the only one experiencing similar anguish and confusion.

Someone once told me to be kind to myself through this and that is about all that I try to do any more to make it through each day. So please be kind to yourself.

posts: 21   ·   registered: May. 15th, 2021
id 8674044
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HappilyMarried1 ( Member #77296) posted at 8:21 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

So sorry for what you are going through after all of this time @Davlaw625.

"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."

You said above what she has told you when she was able to change. I'm sorry if I missed how many kids you have together, but the first one sounds like it was close to when she was having multiple affairs and ONS. I am sorry to suggest this, but I would probably check the DNA of my first child for sure and probably all kids you have. If you feel she could have been continuing having affairs. Also, the poly would be a big help in determining if she had more affairs than she has admitted to. The question could ask "Have you had any other affairs or ONS with anyone other than your husband in the past 40 years. Best of luck! I hope you get the answers you need to decide how you spend your retirement years.

[This message edited by HappilyMarried1 at 2:25 PM, July 9th (Friday)]

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2021
id 8674053
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Justaguy61 ( New Member #75431) posted at 9:37 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

The devastation of infidelity is time dependent on WHEN it is discovered not when it occurred. Of course now you have to question everything. She most likely feels that so much time has passed that you will be able to brush it off... of course nothing of the sort.

Not sure if others have suggested but are you considering DNA testing your kids?

posts: 50   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2020
id 8674065
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CuriousObserver ( Member #78743) posted at 9:46 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

At some later date if she becomes exasperated with you and asks how long you will need to get over it, you could suggest 40 years...

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 112   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8674070
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 12:00 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

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.

What do you think you're going to achieve with every detail? What issues will knowing resolve?

Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the frantic drive, the compulsion, the fixation we experience when our reality has been blown apart. Been there done that. But what do you think is realistically achieved by this? You said...

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.

So, if I'm guessing, you believe that getting all these details will keep you from losing this "newfound intimacy". Maybe you think it's a matter of having a complete picture and total honesty. But you can have complete honesty without putting yourselves through an inquisition which has the potential to set you up as adversaries and create painful triggers and scarring. Finding out the details will NOT change what happened... and it won't heal you.

I do agree that there needs to be honesty. But I think, as BS, we need to challenge that frenetic energy which causes this compulsive drive for information. In my own situation, I realized early on that every new detail would create a new trigger. What did I need to know, really?.. that he fucked someone. Yeah.. he fucked someone. Several someones. And he did it for reasons which had NOTHING to do with me. So I started running my questions through the filter of "How will knowing this answer help ME?" Now, of course, it goes without saying that we should feel utterly confident that any question we ask will be answered with honesty. If we don't have that, there's no point in going on with R. But it's not the information which creates healing. It's knowing that our WS will answer us honestly, even if the answer is painful.

My fWH had gone on a Craigslist binge for nearly a year. There were several APs and various degrees of emotional attachment. A sample question.. at one point, his phone records had him in OW#2's town and on the phone with OW#3, with whom he'd been doing some major future faking. So, after considering my question, I asked it... did he fuck OW#2 that day and did OW#3 know about it? Answer.. yes he did, and no she didn't. What that told me was that he was that the future faking was just that... fake. He was telling her what she wanted to hear so she'd keep putting out, which confirmed what he had been telling me.

My point is that some of the information you might glean is going to tell you more about your WW's mind and motives at the time of the cheating, but appeasing a morbid curiosity is not going to help you heal. I could have asked my fWH about what positions they used or how long they went or any number of other questions that wouldn't have provided me any real insight into my next moves. All those things would do would be to create further scarring when I already have enough.

In my manic quest to find out EVERYTHING, I actually got into all his accounts. I had emails, I had photos, I had videos of my husband of thirty years actually fucking other women. You can't wash that out of your brain with bleach. All you can do is go find a therapist who knows EMDR so you don't feel like you're going to vomit every time you think about it.

There are plenty of people who will encourage you lose yourself down that rabbit hole. But I'm not one of them. Instead, I would tell you that the closeness and intimacy you were experiencing earlier comes from your willingness to be open and vulnerable with one another. You don't need every detail to keep that going. You just need to know that she's willing to give you any detail you ask for. Then, it's up to you to make sure that you're asking sane questions.

posts: 4520   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8674122
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AnOminousMan ( Member #79091) posted at 12:05 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

What do you think you're going to achieve with every detail? What issues will knowing resolve?

He can't forgive what he doesn't know. Some acts of betrayal are worse than others and questions, such as did she and her AP's take pleasure in his humiliation, need to be answered to his satisfaction to figure out if he can continue on with her.

Frankly, I'm not sure how what you are recommending is any different than rug-sweeping. Imagine that she was saying this to him rather than you. What would you say?

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

posts: 104   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2021
id 8674124
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 12:41 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

He should ask any questions which will help him in his healing process. But if he is wise, he will consider his questions carefully before he asks them. This is common advice from therapists who deal in infidelity. The problem is that most of us don't take that good advice. We think we need EVERYTHING because that's what the compulsion tells us. But that compulsion is a result of shock and trauma, not good sense. Believe me, I inadvertently got much more than what I needed and in retrospect, it was harmful. THAT is the pain and the resulting depression that I try to warn people about.

This guy knows his wife, even though right now, he's probably feeling so shocked and discouraged that he doesn't believe it. But his gut is still there and he's still a good judge of character. In the JFO stage, it feels like those things are gone, but they're not. He'll be able to sort out what's important and what's just morbid curiosity for himself.

ETA: Regarding "rugsweeping"... I would think that if a BS continues in R with a person who isn't WILLING to answer any question honestly, that would be rugsweeping. The important bit is the WS's willingness to answer, not necessarily the answer itself.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 6:47 PM, July 9th (Friday)]

posts: 4520   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8674129
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AnOminousMan ( Member #79091) posted at 12:51 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

ChamomileTea - Pragmatically I don't disagree, but I just don't know how he would be able to determine what is and isn't important information for his healing. While you regret finding out all of those details, some others may not. I'm afraid this is just one of those journeys of discovery he has to take, bumps and all.

OP - I can't tell you how to spot the difference between getting all the facts and pain shopping but at some point going over the details again and again or pressing for more and more details regarding sex acts is just self inflicted punishment and a great way to permanently burn mind movies into your head.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

posts: 104   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2021
id 8674133
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ramius ( Member #44750) posted at 1:51 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

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.

Ok I’m not catholic. So forgive me if this is a stupid question.....but is this common advice from a priest? Is lying by omission a sanctioned thing?

If so...wow.

If not, then to me, it sounds like a bullshit excuse to facilitate her keep you around after having had her fun on the side.

Assuming she actually stopped cheating. And since she is a confirmed serial cheater, I would bet money she didn’t.

How many scars have you rationalized because you loved the person who was holding the knife?

Their actions reveal their intentions. Their words conceal them.

posts: 1604   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2014
id 8674145
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AnOminousMan ( Member #79091) posted at 4:44 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Ok I’m not catholic. So forgive me if this is a stupid question.....but is this common advice from a priest?

I don't think so. I'm suspect of what cheaters claim so who knows.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

posts: 104   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2021
id 8674172
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keptmyword ( Member #35526) posted at 5:52 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I never suspected anything and was not aware of her apparent discontent with me and our marriage.

Her infidelity had nothing at all to do with you or your marriage.

Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Burn that into your heart mind and soul.

If she tries to blame you or the marriage then shut that false excuse down immediately.

Priests, preachers, ministers, etc, are worthless when it comes to advice about infidelity, or much else.

bury it and move forward in secrecy with a pure life.

And this evil irony leaves no doubt.

It has nothing to do with you.

Filed for and proceeded with divorce.

posts: 1134   ·   registered: May. 4th, 2012
id 8674180
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 Davlaw625 (original poster New Member #79093) posted at 11:28 AM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

The chronological walk through is my attempt to get her to remember sufficient details about the past for me to, at least, understand what it is I'm being asked to forgive. For now it's two affairs with guys named Bill and John and a one night stand. Doesn't remember their last names, anything about them, or any details of their relationship. Nothing other than the sex wasn't good sex and she always regretted it afterwards. Always complimentary towards me - she loved only me but can't explain why she cheated. These trysts while in college don't include the 6+ month affair with a guy named Ken while I was away from home going to basic training, officer school and a myriad of other short courses. Before she was able to finish college.

I think she knows a lot more than she's telling me. I don't expect minute details. But I do expect something other than "I can't remember. I've buried it like I have childhood trauma."

I suspect there were other trysts during her college years as well as afterwards, periodically throughout our marriage. I don't have evidence of such but would be consistent with her behavior and needs as an adult who was probably still discontent with our marriage after having children.

I also think she's trickled as much of the truth (i) as she can face, (ii) which she thinks I need to know, or (iii) which she thinks I'll forgive.

The irony is we have found a wonderful love and intimacy in retirement that we never had before. I hate to think it will be short-lived because of her revelation about the past. I am able to work through the past, no matter how bad, but to do so I expect the truth from her.

I read all your messages and appreciate the comments and advice.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8674207
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guvensiz ( Member #75858) posted at 12:04 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

As far as I understand, the 35 years in between did not pass completely peacefully and there were periods when you were suspicious.

No matter how much she says, you will always doubt whether there is more, and you are right.

Polygraph is a must.

posts: 478   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8674212
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bluewater ( Member #9297) posted at 12:19 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Firstly, I am very sorry that you have found yourself in need of the support that this website provides.

Personally I always find situations like yours especially tragic.

I suspect there were other trysts during her college years as well as afterwards, periodically throughout our marriage. I don't have evidence of such but would be consistent with her behavior and needs as an adult who was probably still discontent with our marriage after having children.

Why do you suspect that she has had more affairs than she has admitted to?

Have you shared your suspicions with her?

Finally, I wish you find the peace and healing that you seek.

posts: 656   ·   registered: Jan. 5th, 2006
id 8674215
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