Newest Member: Maifurrypurt

Just Found Out :
40 Years Ago

default

ramius ( member #44750) posted at 4:17 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Doesn't remember their last names, anything about them, or any details of their relationship.

Of course she doesn’t.

Nothing other than the sex wasn't good sex and she always regretted it afterwards

Of course it was.

Always complimentary towards me - she loved only me

Of course she did.

Good grief there has got to be a playbook out there for cheaters. Their statements and behaviors are so utterly predictable.

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 8674281
default

Justaguy61 ( new member #75431) posted at 4:52 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

After years lacking connection you find connection only to discover horror. So sorry. Reading accounts of others who have strayed they generally have an ah-ha moment where they get a glimpse into the pain of the betrayed and are shocked and crushed by the realities of their choices and actions.

You are right to expect that she knows far more than she has confessed. She likely felt your found love and connection FINALLY created the safety where she could lay down her guilt and in her mind receive your forgiveness. She is likely now hating that she opened this door and is afraid of what it means.

I am a person who HAS to know everything involving betrayal and strangely your story makes me wonder if in some cases it is not better to never know. She has pain from this and telling you has given you pain. Should she have taken it to her grave?

[This message edited by Justaguy61 at 4:53 PM, Saturday, July 10th]

posts: 50   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2020
id 8674295
default

Marz ( member #60895) posted at 6:11 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

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

6 months is half a year. I don’t buy only knowing his first name. Sorry.

posts: 6623   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8674309
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:22 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Your wife's actions:

1. Robbed you of agency and autonomy, essentially holding you captive for 40 years

2. Ensured a permanent intimacy vacuum in your marriage. No matter her attempts to heal the breach and be a perfect wife, she could never offer you whole intimacy while burying this secret.

3. Compounded the countless lies of her betrayal with decades more of lies. Every day was in essence a lie.

Lots of people are abused in childhood and never betray their spouses. It is a convenient excuse.

I think what you are essentially telling us is that your wife is a serial cheater and that you have known or suspected for a long time. You certainly knew about one lengthy affair already before this recent revelation.

She's probably done it in the recent past. Serial cheaters rarely reform and rarely are good prospects for reconciliation.

By the way I'm Catholic and I don't believe your wife's story about the priest. I don't know a single priest who would recommend such a thing. Nearly all the ones I know would encourage the cheater to disclose to their spouse.

So I think your wife is lying about that too. How do I know for sure? I don't but I strongly suspect. Because your wife is a proven and chronic liar.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:31 PM, July 10th (Saturday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49Married: Feb. 1996DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4249   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8674314
default

ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 7:28 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

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.

Not necessarily. The reason we do stupid shit when we're in our teens and early twenties is that our prefrontal cortex (judgment center) hasn't matured. We don't reach full brain maturity until we're in our mid-twenties. It's possible that your WW's cheating was a result of poor judgment coupled with poor character. Both of which can resolve over time and experience. When I think back to when I was young and single, over 40 years ago, yeah... I can think of at least one guy whose name I can't remember first or last no matter how hard I try. So, it's possible that she really has forgotten some stuff. And maybe that's not the most probable scenario, but the possibility remains.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not trying to be an apologist for your WW. But you've come to a place here at SI where cheating and betrayal is usually pretty fresh and emotions run high. When we're living life like a hammer, everything around us looks like a nail, right?

Just try not to get too bogged down in negativity. You and your WW had something good, and it's possible that it can be good again in time. Right now, you've had a huge chunk of your agency taken from you. These past forty years you've accepted your wife under false pretenses as it were. It's going to take time for you to absorb that shock and to see how you feel about it.. and then to decide whether she's worth the effort of R.

posts: 4530   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8674324
default

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:31 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

In her college years, I can accept it was because she was young. However, she chose to hide it,to lie,for 40 years. That's unacceptable.

posts: 3706   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8674326
default

 Davlaw625 (original poster new member #79093) posted at 10:07 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Wife and I haven't broached the topic in a couple of weeks. But have been talking about it periodically (when I bring it up) for several months since she revealed the college trysts. She promised to think hard and try her best to recall the events. Said she thinks about it a lot and isn't ignoring me. She recognizes I need closure and that her decisions have caused my hurt as if it were yesterday. She knows about my chronology though she hasn't asked to look at it. Same with the class rosters - she knows I have them but hasn't asked to look at them. Having said all this, she hasn't once brought up the topic and mentioned anything she has recalled. It's hard not to be pissed. I am hurt and find myself getting angry. Am giving her this coming week and, if no discussion from her, I intend to bring it up and walk through the chronology (which includes photos of us from that time period) with her.

We are going back to the city where she cheated mid-July for two weeks. I am going to ask her to walk around the campus with me, including a nearby park where she and her classmate group hung out. Also going to ask her to take me to the locations where she met her various lovers.

Many of you have suggested that too much information can create too much pain but I have to go there. I'd rather know than not.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8674346
default

GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 10:16 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Actions over words. She says she's thinking really hard about it all but never remembers anything, never brings the subject up.

She's hoping you will rugsweep.

[This message edited by GoldenR at 4:17 PM, July 10th (Saturday)]

posts: 2642   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8674348
default

ramius ( member #44750) posted at 1:37 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Her best chance to avoid saying anything more that could be a dealbreaker for you is to stick with the “I cannot remember” angle.

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 8674376
default

Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:41 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

If I'm understanding your thread correctly, just a couple of years into your brand-new marriage, you learned that your WW was in an 8-month physical affair while you were deployed in the military. Brand new bride, who should be head-over-heels in love, fucking another dude while you're serving your country. In most threads here where the BH is in a brand new marriage, the overwhelming advice to him is to cut his losses and run screaming, thanking her for showing her true colors early so he could get out while still young. If I were talking to young DavLaw, that is what I'd say.

By the way, how did you find out about the A?

Reading between the lines, it sounds like you more or less rug-swept it and your WW didn't see any real consequences from her A. During the next several years, you suspected that she was still cheating, but you mostly ignored the alarms from your "Spidey Sense", essentially avoidance as a coping strategy, which is a species of rug-sweeping. As you now know, your Spidey Sense was correct; she was cheating. She was also therefore lying to you, habitually and chronically for years.

These facts, if even roughly accurate, are more than enough to describe the basis for a strained, distant marriage in the ensuing decades. You say this:

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".

To me, this smacks of a reverse-engineered rationalization you have created in your own mind, again as a coping strategy, again driven by what I suspect is your conflict-avoidant personality. It's a sort of "backronym."

FYI, "backronym" refers to the phenomenon of reverse-engineering an apocryphal acronym as an ersatz etymological explanation of a slang word. The most famous examples would be "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Shipped High In Transit", both of which have no basis in reality. FWIW, other than military coinage (e.g. -- "fubar"), almost no slang ever evolves from an acronym.

But I digress. I think you have your cause/effect reversed. The first 5-8 years of your marriage, by themselves, are enough to explain a few decades of strained, distant marriage. You were justifiably angry, resentful, emasculated, distrustful of her. She would have been reactive to these things: secretive, distant, possibly still cheating, but even if not cheating, certainly not at all honest in any sort of intimate way. In other words, the fundamental dynamics of your brand new marriage were anathema to intimacy and partnership. To keep things together, you immersed yourself in work and fathering and endured 30-40 years of a disengaged wife.

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.

Your spidey sense in the early years told you that you thought she was cheating -- and she was. So often here, we find out that the gut is right on matters such as this.

As I see it, her cheating during the first 5-8 years of your marriage doomed you to a distanced, detached marriage, a cold place with little emotional intimacy. You stiff-upper-lipped it, possibly because you vowed to stay with her for better or worse, not realizing how bad "worse" really was. Now, in your retirement years, you're faced with the choice of leaving her way too late to go out and pull some hotties for your own fun, or stay with the woman who deprived you of your agency to choose your life. Your own version of the metaphorical "shit sandwich" (stuck in a universe of two bad choices) every BH must choke down after Dday.

Your thread then takes a curious turn:

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.

What changed, in your opinion? I'm truly curious.

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.

These "found out years later" threads have an element that is layered atop the normal elements of infidelity. In my observation, a big piece of whether the marriage has a realistic chance of R is the quality of the marriage, from the perspective of the BH, during the years between the cheating and the Dday. We've seen some threads here where the WW repented, regretted her infidelities, and threw herself for years into being the best wife her unwitting BH could ask for. We've seen others where the marriage was "meh" in the interim.

In your case, it sounds like you had the better part of 40 years of "meh" -- which you have endured by synthesizing the false narrative that the pressures of work and kids made it that way -- followed by some unspecified period of "better-than-meh".

The main thing you'll need to answer for yourself is whether you can get over losing those 40 years of "meh" which, let's be honest, was not caused by work and kids but rather was caused by the fact that your WW was a serial cheater for the first 5-8 years of your marriage and you rug-swept this reality while she opportunistically pretended it wasn't there.

Which she is still doing. Keep in mind that this strategy has worked for 40 years. It's unrealistic to believe that she will suddenly change tactics after that sort of long-term success.

Said she thinks about it a lot and isn't ignoring me. She recognizes I need closure and that her decisions have caused my hurt as if it were yesterday. She knows about my chronology though she hasn't asked to look at it. Same with the class rosters - she knows I have them but hasn't asked to look at them. Having said all this, she hasn't once brought up the topic and mentioned anything she has recalled.

This, my friend, is bullshit. She feels no urgency because you're not taking any action. My bet is that she won't do anything unless and until she feels urgency. Which she may never feel. You might take steps to leave the marriage and she'll just say "don't hit yourself with the door on your way out." D, or the threat of D, should never be deployed as a gambit to elicit a response from her. You D because you don't want to be married to her. Period.

It's hard not to be pissed. I am hurt and find myself getting angry.

No shit. Anybody would be.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:01 PM, July 12th (Monday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8674397
default

Questioningall ( member #43959) posted at 4:43 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

A priest gave my husband the same advice. It’s frustrating to want to piece together the past and get a lot of “I don’t remember.” My fWH would tell me details when he remembered them, which helped, and like your wife, he told me he’d had affairs that I wouldn’t have discovered on my own, though not right at first. As awful as it was to hear, it was encouraging that he volunteered the info. He took a polygraph, too, because by that point, I was getting worn down by the trickle truth. If you were to graph our reconciliation, it would be a scribble, with a lot of peaks and valleys over a long span of time, not the straight line trending up that I would have preferred. If you’re willing to give reconciliation a chance, take your time and see what your wife does. Will she see a therapist?

Me-BS 57
Him-WS 57 Sorrowfulmate
Married 30 years, 5 kids
Dday #1 12/12 He made up a ONS
Dday #2. 3/14 EAs, 3 ONS, 2 LTA

Buttercup: We'll never survive.
Westley: Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has.

posts: 583   ·   registered: Jul. 2nd, 2014
id 8674422
default

 Davlaw625 (original poster new member #79093) posted at 11:51 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Thanks for all the feedback. Some of it is pretty harsh but I appreciate the candor - especially from where it's coming.

Going to be a tough couple of weeks as we do a deep dive into our past. I am afraid of what I might learn that I don't know about our marriage but know I must. I am afraid she will clam up or not recall much. Given her history of child abuse I know it's possible to bury events entirely.

As for her infidelities and horrible decisions as a young 20-something, I have forgiven. So I can forgive and I will forgive if she's truthful and sincerely wants to help me heal. I do not know how I am going to react if she isn't forthright.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8674503
default

gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 2:30 PM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Finding out the details will NOT change what happened... and it won't heal you.

Couldn’t disagree more with CT. If he wants details of what his WIFE did with other men, he is 100% entitled to them, first to know exactly what it is he’d be forgiving, should he choose to do so, but even more importantly, to kill the intimacy gap that’s been present their entire marriage.

His recent experience of "serious intimacy" with his WW lately has been a facade. A lie. With massive hidden betrayals of this magnitude, the unknown truth denies true intimacy. She still holds "intimate" details between her together with other men, from times while they were, in his mind at least, supposedly a monogamous couple. She holds these intimacy bubbles with multiple OM. They need to be popped, such that there are no more hidden things she’s concealing - no more intimate details shared only between her and her other men.

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.

Here we go again - now a BH is an "inquisitor". So he’s going to strap her to the rack and tortuously extract ‘confessions’ like the Catholic church did? rolleyes

posts: 82   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8674524
default

CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 12:11 AM on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

The reason we do stupid shit when we're in our teens and early twenties is that our prefrontal cortex (judgment center) hasn't matured. We don't reach full brain maturity until we're in our mid-twenties. It's possible that your WW's cheating was a result of poor judgment coupled with poor character. Both of which can resolve over time and experience.

This brain development stuff gets thrown around a bit too much IMO. Should we no longer allow 18 year olds to vote since they don't seem to have fully developed judgement? The bones in the hand do not fully develop until 17 years of age but that doesn't stop masturbation.

ETA, I'm not advocating that anyone's life should be defined by their stupidest act when they were 19 (even you, Jane Fonda) but he did not discover one stupid act. This has been a lifetime of deception at the deepest levels. I doubt you have learned anything yet. Paternity test your kids.

[This message edited by CuriousObserver at 6:20 PM, July 12th (Monday)]

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

posts: 115   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8674980
default

 Davlaw625 (original poster new member #79093) posted at 5:22 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

Short frustrating update. So I walked her through the calendar timeline I developed for the timeframe of her infidelities 40 years ago. She was receptive and felt overwhelmed. This didn’t surprise me since it’s 4-5 years that go back to her college years. She told me she’d walk through the calendars, family photos, transcripts, class rosters. our letters to each other, etc. and plethora of questions I pose to help her remember. That was a couple of weeks ago and she hasn’t done the homework. This is partly attributable to ten days with a flu-like illness. We’re going back to our hometown the first of august to visit family. This is where the infidelities occurred and where I served my first Army duty. I intend to visit the college with her and to go to the places where we lived and where she hung out while in college. I intend to leave her with her family overnight after the driving tour to force her to study the calendar timeline. This is becoming frustrating.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 9th, 2021   ·   location: Tampa, FL
id 8678544
default

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:01 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

Don't force anything. If she wants to do it, she'll do it. If she doesn't want to do it, what does forcing her accomplish? You're just getting robotic behavior from that.

A couple of weeks has been long enough for her to do something, anything. And yet she's done nothing. There's always an excuse. With the urgency of a marriage on the line, she should have acted by now.

What you're getting is what you'll keep getting.

If he wants details of what his WIFE did with other men, he is 100% entitled to them, first to know exactly what it is he’d be forgiving, should he choose to do so, but even more importantly, to kill the intimacy gap that’s been present their entire marriage.

Precisely.

And yes, this brain development stuff is being thrown around a lot lately in our society. It's the new "evo psych" -- overused.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:04 PM, July 26th (Monday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49Married: Feb. 1996DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4249   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8678556
default

BlueRaspberry ( member #76065) posted at 6:07 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

Davlaw625,

Is your wife seeing an IC that specializes in infidelity? She might be more willing to share or open up with a professional and that might help her remember/recall key details you want to know.

It is ominous that she is not taking more initiative to help you understand what happened. If she felt the same level of increased intimacy as you in recent years, she should be fighting to keep it. It would appear she is trying to do the bare minimum to answer your questions and address your hurt in an effort to ultimately rug sweep. Hope I'm wrong.

posts: 219   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2020
id 8678561
default

BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 7:09 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

Davlaw,

I strong word of caution:

Assess honestly the balance of work being done to reconstruct the timeline and find truth.

Like you, I needed information--the more and the more specific the better. (BTW I regret none of what I learned. For me, I feel that so much of what I thought was reality in my marriage was actually mirage, so I needed to know just what the reality was and make informed decisions from there.) So, in my desperate all-consuming race to get as much truth and reality as I could, I took over the work that I should have dumped in his lap...and, of course, he let me.

I let SO much of my time and energy go into finding the facts/truth--because he was brim-FULL of "I don't remember" and other vagaries.

Of course he wanted to stay in IDK and I-don't-remember-land. It made him feel bad to have to confront, own, and tell me details about the betrayals. Was he lying to himself about not remembering to save himself pain? Was he lying to me about not remembering to save himself consequences? Yes, to both.

The real consequence of me doing the work of discovery is that it built tremendous resentment in me--as it should have.

I'd been clear about the pain I was in and why knowing the details was healing to me. He could see my pain.

Yet, he allowed me to expend more and more emotional and psychological energy (and countless hours) doing the digging HE should have done to help himself remember the details.

She betrayed you. She hid it. She stuffed it down and tried to ignore this totally-avoidable cancer that she introduced into your relationship.

Tell her the truth: You're reeling and need to care for yourself. Her way to a chance at recovery is to do this work. Then grey rock until she initiates action. During this time, you take care of you and keep interactions with her to a bare minimum. Live for yourself.

Her actions will tell you what you need to know.

[This message edited by BreakingBad at 1:12 PM, July 26th (Monday)]

Me=BW
WH had online affairs
Married 30 yrs now
2 kids, both in HS
Dday#1=2/7/20
Dday#2=2/12/20
Dday#3=2/17/20
Dday#4=11/25/20...1st A with cOW was actually 2 1/2 years
BW & WH in IC & MC. Working toward R, but day by day

posts: 56   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8678574
default

Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 7:46 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

IMO she's testing you. There's more to her story that she does not want to reveal.

Has she volunteered to take a polygraph?

posts: 2413   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8678587
default

Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 8:15 PM on Monday, July 26th, 2021

I’m sorry my friend I know how painful this is.

But I need to give you a hard truth, if you are not willing to end the marriage via the divorce process, you are not going to get much from her. I’m not suggesting idle threats. But quite honestly if she knows you intend to stick around no matter what, she’s never going to take this whole process seriously. Why should she. She knows you’re sticking around.

If instead you said that you were leaving until she fully delivers on what you need to work through this pain and heal, and you actually left and moved out and started to live your own life and healing yourself, then she might finally realize the seriousness of what you are asking for.

But you have to be willing to let it all go, to file for D and begin the process of living the rest of your life without her as a reminder of the pain. Because if you are not serious, she will see right through it.

I am sorry, but quite honestly it’s the only way to have a chance at getting what you are looking for.

The alternative is just to accept that you won’t get any of the confession that you need and try yo live a happy life with her going forward. Demand what you need going forward (love, attention, sex, gifts, gestures… etc) and if she can deliver on that, then at least you have an attentive partner in your golden years.

I don’t know how else to best explain it. I wish you well.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3176   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8678596
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.000.20210924 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy