InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 4:38 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
I don't know where to begin or how to explain the horrors of the past 3 days. My husband had a one night stand 25 years ago with a 22 year old bartender. He was 34 at the time. It was 5 months after we got married!!! I was 30 at the time. He never told me about the affair! He has sworn on his children's heads he has never had an affair.
Fast forward to a month ago. His new daughter now 25, took a 23 and me DNA test. Her parents (divorced since she was 2) never told her her father was not her biological father. She contacted his niece and daughter (from a previous marriage) via Facebook prior to contacting my husband. My husband was contacted very shortly after them. He told his daughter and his niece to keep quiet since he hadn't told me yet. 3 weeks later he decided to tell me. He said he wants a relationship with this girl! That he feels guilty for not being there for her growing up. He has talked with her over 12 times in the last 3 weeks - all while I was unaware. We have two children together ages 22 and 24 both girls.
I have not eaten or slept for 3 days. I'm horrified on so many levels. He lied to me for over 25 years! He had sex with a 22 year old when he was 34. Our youngest is now 22! I cannot imagine this happening to her. How can he justify guilt when he was not told about this child? How can he feel guilty over the child and not his family of 25+ years??? I am shaking and crying all day long. I do not know how to feel anything but despair. My life has become a Jerry Springer show and I cannot find my way back to sanity.
I told him he was not the girls father but mainly a sperm donor unbeknownst to him. He does not know how I can be so cruel to an "innocent child". How am I not innocent? How are my girls not innocent? How could he tell other people he loves to carry his burden for him for over 3 weeks! My husband is not a terrible person. However, he has issues. He is a functioning alcoholic and was raised in an abuse family. HOWEVER - he has experienced nothing but love and support for the past 30 years!!
Is it wrong of me to ask he cut off contact? I feel guilty but it is not something I can deal with! Why should I have to deal with her? I told my children about the affair together via FaceTime because I was afraid of her contacting them or someone else confronting them. I told them to protect them! My husband told me it was because I needed to be in control and have them tainted against him. That honestly was NOT the reason. Someone needs to care about the repercussions of his actions!
I am in so much pain. I am humiliated. My heart is broken. My life it broken. He doesn't want it to come out. I feel like I just want to rip the bandaid off and try to move forward. His job is in Germany. I am in the USA. So we are currently separated by an ocean. He will not come home until May, 2022. I was flying over to see him on the 12th but now have cancelled. My family very close and I have not told anyone. I am truly struggling to get through the day. I need to talk with someone who understands. Please anyone out there that could even possibly identify with these chain of events!!!!!????? Please I need someone to hear my pain and acknowledge me.
Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 4:56 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Stay here but also look on the forums under I can relate because there is a long thread about people who found out years later. There really is no quick answer to this. This is a lie that he’s managed to keep all these years and of course those of us here who have read enough know that there are probably more he just wasn’t found out because there was no child. I think the first thing you need to think about is a polygraph. My question is why are y’all separated? Is he in the military? If not he needs to come home. He’s got a family that’s blown sky high and all he’s doing is saying how much he wants to get to know a child. She is never going to think of him as a parent. She has two of those. He is a sperm donor.
To thine own self be true. Shakespeare
InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 5:02 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
We are separated because of his job. He has a contract for the season and does not have any breaks. We need the money and I honesty don't think him taking a leave of absence to come home for a week will solve anything. After reading all others have said on this site it is a very long road ahead. Of course he is saying all the right things now. He will do anything. But it has been so very very long. I do not believe anything he says..
Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 7:29 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Sorry you are dealing with this.
However… reality is what reality is.
First thing IMHO is that he has previously sworn on his kids that he’s never cheated. Well… that didn’t hold water…
I believe marriages can survive nearly anything – except lies and deception. I would think that this news places an immense level of distrust between you and that might be even a bigger issue than the young woman. I would seriously look into how he (WH) can be totally honest to you and how you can be reasonably safe he’s told the truth. Right now discovering he had 1-2 other affairs might actually hurt less and cause less long-term damage than thinking you know all, only to be told 12 months from now that he hit on someone back in 2002.
As a man and a father I don’t think it’s correct to expect him to see himself as only a sperm-donor. Not anymore than I would expect any woman to put a baby for adoption and never again think about it. You can request he doesn’t contact her, but frankly as a man I would have serious doubts about the character of a man that refuses to accept his burden. That’s me – others might have a different point of view. What I think is clear is that LEGALLY he will never be her father and his financial liability is limited if not non-existent. I think great consideration should be placed on the fact the young woman isn’t at fault here and that even if your husband refuses to meet her chances are your daughters and other in the family might do so.
It's not an ideal situation. I fully get the trauma. But reality is what reality is.
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus
src9043 ( Member #75367) posted at 7:33 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Clearly, your WH is a liar and a cheat. It is very unlikely that his ONS with the OW was the last time he cheated on you given it was so early in your marriage. The fact that he has been away from you due to his work for months gives him all kinds of opportunities to cheat. If this has been representative of his work history, the odds of him staying faithful all these years is next to zero. He will never tell you the truth. A polygraph test, though somewhat unreliable, is a must and could force some type of parking lot confession.
Concerning the "daughter" that has popped up in his life. She has two parents. Your husband was a sperm donor, nothing more than that. What he did and what you are now going through is simply horrible. Your well-being trumps his desire to get involved in someone's life that he had nothing to do with other than supplying the sperm. While the girl did nothing wrong, she has her own life and she should stay out of your family's life.
It will take you some time to process what has happened and decide what you want to do, I suspect. Get into individual therapy with someone that specializes in infidelity. Go see a lawyer in order to assess your options. You need friends and family for support during this terrible time. DO NOT allow your husband to hide what he has done. He deserves no such gift.
Prepare yourself for a single life, even if that is not the ultimate outcome of this nightmare. Get yourself in shape, find a job/work on your career, and spend time with friends who will provide emotional support. The ball is in your court on how you wish to proceed. I don't know whether your husband is redeemable. His desire to get involved in this new person's life tells me he isn't close to being salvageable. You can't begin to answer that question until you know the entire truth concerning his indiscretions. Again, it is very unlikely that the ONS was the only time he ever cheated on you. I am deeply sorry, but that is my take on the limited information provided.
ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 8:13 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
I'm so sorry this happened to you. Here's the thing though... you get to feel about it however you need to feel about it. No one, least of all the perpetrator, has the right to tell you how you should be feeling after his betrayal. I'll be honest, there's no way I would continue in the marriage without a polygraph. If this guy had no qualms about fucking a bartender during your first year of marriage, God only knows what else might have gone on. This might not be the only incident. It might just be the one time he's been caught.
You would also be wise to see an attorney and/or a financial planner to get a look at what your financial picture might be if you decide you want a divorce. Right now, it sounds like your WH thinks this is all just water under the bridge and that you'll roll over and tolerate his edicts. But you don't have to. This is YOUR life and you get to say what goes. Don't let him push you around.
[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 8:14 PM, Monday, September 6th]
Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 9:33 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Many years ago there was a case where a man had an affair, they broke up, and he went on with his life. Unbeknownst to him she got pregnant put the baby up for adoption and when the child was three he wanted the child since he just found out. I am probably going to get some grief over this but I feel like a man who has sex and then walks away loses his rights. If you’re going to have sexual relationships with a woman you need to stick around long enough to see if there’s a child. On the other hand I am 100% in favor of children learning about biological parents. There is nothing harder to a person than trying to figure out who they are with absolutely no idea of biological anything. Medical history is a major factor. Personality traits. How do you handle stress. There’s so much genetic material that’s passed on that to deny that child is cruel. I hope he is open to allowing her information about himself but he also needs to be aware of the mess he has made of his marriage. He sounds like a very selfish person. I still think a polygraph will get you answers.
To thine own self be true. Shakespeare
InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 9:37 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Thank you all for your honest input. I know I am still in shock. He is already pestering me about forgiveness. Its been 3 fu*king days!!!!! and over 25 years of lies. Obviously saying everything he needs to say in order to get me to forgive him. He said he would take a polygraph. He said whatever it takes.
I somehow feel stronger every time someone posts a few words. I truly truly truly appreciate any voice right now since I feel utterly broken and alone. Regardless of the advice or wisdom it is nice to know that someone else has gone through this HELL and somehow survived!! I have been reading a lot not only on this website but others and have ordered some books to read. I feel I need to try somehow someway to get myself to a semi-healthy mindset. I am crazy right now with fits of sobbing and anger it is beyond debilitating just trying to get through the day. I am week for him and feel the separation may be good for me right now. I know I will have to fly over there at some point but when I am ready.
I don't know if single counseling should happen before marriage counseling or if they should happen simultaneously? Honestly it is hard to believe I am in this position - dumbfounded after 30 years together. THIRTY YEARS FOR CHRIST SAKES!!! 3 days is not nearly enough time to become sane and I am going to try and be patient with myself and my healing. I will not be forced into acceptance and/or forgiveness. I love him, oh God how I love him. We have had a wonderful life together. Or so I thought......in the end it might be over. I don't know how to move forward when I'm still on the floor crying most the day. This is a very humbling experience.
Forks027 ( Member #59996) posted at 9:49 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Yeah, no, forgiveness is the last of your priorities right now. He wants forgiveness, he has to earn it. And it'll take more than just saying pretty words for you to hear. If he doesn't back those words up with consistent actions, then it's moot.
Use the separation to take care of yourself and figure out how you want to proceed. Wishing you strength.
BlueRaspberry ( Member #76065) posted at 9:53 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
He is already pestering me about forgiveness. Its been 3 fu*king days!!!!! and over 25 years of lies.
You need to shut that down immediately. He's been dealing with this lie and betrayal for 25 years. For you, it happened a couple of days ago. Forgiveness cannot be on the table until you've had some time to process, understand what happened, and determine what path you want to take.
Please be aware that it is very possible there have been other affairs, so you may not know the whole truth. You wouldn't have found out about this one without a child resulting from the infidelity. Cheating spouses lie a lot. He's lied for 25 years. So, be wary of anything he might be telling you. I suggest he write out a timeline of his affair(s) so you can understand what you're being asked to forgive and more importantly, for use in a polygraph test.
You also said
I don't know if single counseling should happen before marriage counseling or if they should happen simultaneously?
I recommend you avoid MC at this time. Your marriage didn't cause his affair. His lack of character and poor choices led to this betrayal. Your husband needs to go to an IC specializing in infidelity to understand why he felt justified in having an affair and lying about it for 25 years. You need to go to an IC specializing in trauma/betrayal to process your shock and grief. Let your support system (friends, family) know what is going on so you can lean on them for assistance (emotional and otherwise).
We are all pulling for you. You absolutely did NOT deserve this. It is not your fault.
trustedg ( Member #44465) posted at 9:54 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
You say he swore he ever had an affair, did you ask him? Did you suspect something? I'd want to know if he is a serial cheater. Get STD testing just in case and get IC, individual counseling.
Me BWHim WH DDay 12/2012Married a long time, in R
fareast ( Member #61555) posted at 10:15 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
You have received great advice. So very sorry you have had this trauma dumped on your life. Lies and deception do have a way of catching up with cheaters. It’s uncanny. Right now take care of you. Get stronger for you. Exercise, eat healthy, Rely on family and friends. Focus on your healing. You will find good support here.
Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.
The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 10:42 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Clearly he never would have admitted anything if not for the fact he had a child he never knew about.
And the fact he was talking to this girl/daughter for weeks before telling you is just another issue to face. IMO that is as wrong as the affair in that he kept another secret from you.
I strongly suggest you get counseling just for you. It’s not marriage counseling but someone to help process this situation, get through the initial shock and trauma and navigate a path to help you heal.
You will survive this. We all do. I’m not saying in a few months it will be behind you. It takes some time to heal but just know reconciliation will not begin until he comes home from Europe. Then you can determine if yiu will reconcile or if it is just a bunch of words he is saying but he really mean it.
I don’t know if your H cheated more than once. I would not say one way or another b/c I don’t know him. But I can tell you from being here at SI it is possible b/c for some cheaters if they get away with it once they will continue to cheat n/c they can.
I would suggest that you consider all possibilities for your future - reconciliation or Divorce or separation. They are all options to help you heal.
And that is the priority right now. You. Not him. Not your marriage. You!!
[This message edited by The1stWife at 10:44 PM, Monday, September 6th]
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.
InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 11:10 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Thank you all for your responses! I am eternally grateful eternally blessed I found this website. There is so much out there regarding infidelity but usually involves a current situation or recent situation. 25 years ago is obviously in a category by itself! I will definitely seek out IC.
My question is how do you do that? Does it matter if it is with a social worker or Psychologist? Psychotherapist? I have never required nor felt the need to reach out for help prior to this HELL I am living through. Not to sound completely naive but what do I google? How do I start? I definitely do not want to go the wrong route and wind up with someone damaging me more. I am afraid. I am not trusting any instinct I have since all have been blown to bits!
InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 11:20 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Yes, there was an incident that happened about 15 years ago when I looked at his phone and found he was texting with someone. He said he just talked with her. Never did anything. She said in her text it was a "good time to come over because her husband wasn't home". I asked for his phone so that I could text her that I was his wife and knew about the text and to stop texting him! Obviously he denied everything then but was angry. "why are you touching my phone" He does delete things on his phone and still does not like when I touch his phone. Says he should have some privacy. The more I type the more I realize I am a fool. This is so incredibly difficult. 30 years down the toilet. I will have to start my life all over again at age 57. Good God give me strength this is a nightmare. I feel so so incredibly broken....
HappilyMarried1 ( Member #77296) posted at 11:29 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
So sorry @InShock25,
I can really understand a ONS 25 years ago (doesn't make it right however) if he only made this one mistake. I also assume he did not know that this ONS produced a child. What I would have a problem with is once he found out not having enough love for you to come (or call I guess) and confess and explain everything that he knew when he found out etc.
Once he comes home if you believe and want anything to do with him after this I would suggest a polygraph with asking the following: Did you know before 3 weeks ago of fathering a child? Have you had any more affairs or ONS since the one that produced the child? Then anything else you think you might need to know for R. Best of luck!
Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 11:31 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
Find a therapist who handles trauma and particularly, from infidelity. Many many people on here will tell you that they suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. It is such a bomb thrown into your life that there’s no getting away from it. The damage is done. Now it’s up to you to decide what to do. I would definitely get tested because I think this man’s been playing you for a long time. Hiding things from you on his phone is a big red flag. You can’t move forward until you know enough to make a decision. Right now you know nothing. Another question I have is how did she contact him if he’s overseas? How was he able to keep this a secret from you while he’s overseas? Lots of interesting parts to this madness and we are all here for you. Stay on here as much as you need to.
To thine own self be true. Shakespeare
InShock25yearslater (original poster New Member #79366) posted at 11:47 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021
She contacted him through Facebook apparently. Her father however, text my husband saying he had "taken care of her for 25 years and now it was his fu*king turn" The girl and he have since exchanged phone numbers and he has been texting or phoning her? I have tried not to go down the path of caring or knowing more information about her. I do not want her in my life and I have enough on my plate to go through right now. Obviously its hard to listen and retain when you are either sobbing or screaming into a phone. He also became friends with the ONS on Facebook, the girl and the girls new fiancee!! I went nuts on him and he has since unfriended them. I have since removed myself from Facebook entirely. Again, putting this all in writing is incredibly telling. I have been such a fool. It is unbelievably unbearably painful. WTF has my life become and how did this happen without me knowing for so long.....
threestrepsback ( New Member #45635) posted at 12:26 AM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
I am sorry you have to go through this.
Be careful of therapists. You need one that specializes in infidelity and understands trama.
You might want to start on line and get a feel for the different affair recovery choices.
Ignore all the advice from those that guess what it would be like and what they would do. Each situation is different. Biological history is only limited in help. Essentially the child is a stranger. The child’s expectations, however normal, should not drive the marriage or take priority over you normal feelings. Your safety and feelings are important. It can only work if your husband can work with you, united as husband and wife.
There are questions that need to be answered. Your husband needs to be transparent. He should be clear in answering questions and working with you to work on the answers. You both will need to become comfortable in uncomfortable conversations.
The affair- who, what generally happened, how envolved, how long, is he in contact with the affair partner? How many affairs?
What are the fears? What is true?
Polygraphs can only answer response to about three questions. May need more that one. Stand firm in follow thru even after the parking lot confessions.
He wants to be in the child’s life. What does that look like? What boundaries? Any contact should be with transparency with you knowing all.Your husband’s expectations are separate from yours, both are valid. It is ok whatever your expectations are, NO secrets, no contact with affair partners.
What legal implications are there for you going forward related to child inheritance of your assets and divorce. It is a complicated situation. Knowledge is power.I learned legal things that surprised me and had consequences.
The marriage should come first, if he wants to save the marriage. It takes a great deal of time together and effort. In the end only you can decide what is best for you. Give yourself time to work through it.
Lots of self care!
PS you are not to blame for his actions or inactions and do not have to participate in his secret keeping. Be selective in who you discuss it with. Choose those people that can be supportive of you and the marriage without telling you what to do. You may have to actually say I just need to heard while I figure this out.
clouds777 ( Member #72442) posted at 12:28 AM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
I am so sorry you are here. You are going to get some wonderful advice from very knowledgable and supportive people.
However, based on what you have written, there is a very slim chance that the ONS is the only secret. You caught him texting another woman about when her husband wasn't home? He was fine to keep this secret daughter ANOTHER secret from you for WEEKS? Those are ENORMOUS red flags that he is a very good liar and probably very good at gaslighting you. He friended the ONS on facebook??? I mean, if I had to list things he could do to further hurt you, befriending her would be on the top of the list. She didn't tell him he had a daughter and now he wants her in his life too? WTF!
Please look out for yourself. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of. He does. Tell your family. Tell everyone who can support you. You are not responsible to keep his secrets and you can take your power back by telling the truth and getting the support you need. Do not listen to anything he says and only watch what he does. So far, his actions sure don't scream remorse or empathy. His actions actually say quite the opposite.
Do not go to marriage counseling. Basically you are living in a house that is on fire and going to marriage counseling would be like picking out new drapes for your house as it burns down. Focus on finding a counselor who specializes in trauma for YOU. Focus on working through your own feelings and you do not owe him anything, including a decision or any kind of promise. Don't worry about visiting him, calling him, texting him, reassuring him, nothing. Focus on you and taking care of yourself. You do not have to have a relationship with his daughter or anyone that you don't want to. If he has a problem with any of this, including you not committing to your marriage, you will know reconciliation isn't even on the table anyway.
Again, I am so very sorry.