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Just Found Out :
Is reconciliation possible after really long term affair?

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 ZetaCephei (original poster New Member #79378) posted at 10:02 AM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I am new here, I have been reading for about a month, but this is my first post. My story is in my profile, I will just give a short version here.

We have been married for 19 years, together for 28 and I found out in July, that for the last 9 years, my husband and father of our 3 children has had a LTA (EA and PA) with his co-worker. I sort of knew for at least 7 of those 9 years due to slip ups he made along the way, I just didn't want to believe and with more or less success tried to convince myself it wasn't true. He finished it immediately after D-day and wants to reconcile.

We have been talking a lot since D-day, any time I need, he is there for me. I see that he is devastated about how his affair has affected me and he tells me he is sorry all the time. He comforts me when I am down. He does small things that make me feel loved every day. He is ashamed about his behavior and struggles with the fact that the image he has of himself as a good person and a good role model to our children is in conflict with what he did for the past 9 years. He took full responsibility for the affair and never even tried to blame anything on me. He says he was happy with me before, that nothing I did contributed to LTA and believes we can be happy again. He cut contact with her as much as possible given they work together (he sees her almost every day, but they don't interact at all anymore). He gave me access to all his accounts and devices, together with track my phone app and he accounts for his whereabouts all the time.

He keeps reassuring me, that while he can't change what he did, he is willing to do anything I need to make things better and to repair our relationship. I want the same, but I am not sure, I am capable of it. How can I accept the fact that he has been lying to me for so long, that for 9 years I was not important enough to him, that he put her and himself before me and my wellbeing. Is it possible to recover after something like that? To go on? How can I live with the fact, that he is the only one I have been with, but I am not the only one for him anymore? These questions, together with images of them together have been rolling around in my head for the past two months. And while I have a good feeling about us sometimes, there are also times when I don't know if I am able to survive this and go on with him. I want to, more than anything, it is just so much to accept. How can I be sure, he is safe for me to be with? That he won't continue with the affair and hurt me again. He says he would rather die and he is not the one to use such words lightly, but how can I know for sure? How can I ever trust him again? I don't like checking on him. He doesn't mind, he says he deserves it, but I don't like stalking him via electronics everywhere he goes. I do it anyway, but have a bad feeling about it and I really don't want to feel this way for the rest of our lives.

I know there is also a LTA thread, but not many post there at the moment, so I decided to post here. Is anyone here, who has reconciled after a LTA? How long did it take to know you are on the right path? How long to trust again? I believe a one time thing is also painful as hell, but this is hell incarnate crying

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 1:51 PM, Tuesday, September 14th]

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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 11:10 AM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I’m sorry that you have had to join our club. Certainly no one wants to have to be a member of the infidelity club.

Can you survive this snd reconcile? Yes you can if he is committed to the marriage and is remorseful and willing to make amends to prove he is trustworthy.

I suggest you both seek out individual counseling. 9 years is a long time for an affair and you may need some professional help to process this.

Right now you need to focus on your healing. Not your marriage. Not him. Not his feelings.just focus on you for right now.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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annb ( Member #22386) posted at 2:05 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Hi, welcome to SI.

Is your husband still working with his affair partner?

Nine years is almost half your marriage. sad That's a long, long time to be deceptive.

Is he completely transparent giving you access to everything? Phone, emails including work emails, voicemails, social media, etc?

I don't know if your marriage will survive. Only you can answer that.

I suggest you find a good counselor to help you process all of this.

Cheaters are liars so please continue to be vigilant.

He says he would rather die and he is not the one to use such words lightly, but how can I know for sure?

^^^Right out of the cheater's handbook, so many of us here heard the same nonsense, I swear on the Bible, I swear on my children, take what he says with a grain of salt.

Meet with your MD if you need help sleeping or coping and be sure to get a full STD panel done.

So sorry he has put you through this nightmare, you will survive one way or the other.

posts: 11257   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
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TruthIsPower ( Member #75776) posted at 2:11 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Zeta, so sorry you found yourself here...

To add to previous posters: you mentioned that the OW is married. If this is still a case, you need to contact OBS (other betrayed spouse). He has an agency to know the truth.

Strength to you!

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 95   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
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grubs ( Member #77165) posted at 2:36 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Each M is different as everyone has their own limits and strengths. 9 years is a long time. You're only a couple of months out and likely still in shock phase a bit. It's also pretty easy for the WS to toe the line this close in. Do you both have it in you to do the long 2-5 year slog to fix the M is the question.

How was it found out?
Is WS looking for a new job? Being co-workers is going to be an irritant to you regardless of how repentant he is.

posts: 736   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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Anna123 ( Member #70908) posted at 2:59 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I am so sorry you are here.

That is a full on second relationship for him. He is bonded with her and has a private history with her he will never forget. Will he miss the comfort of that relationship when it is ended a month from now? A year from now when life gets boring? Maybe, maybe not, but how will you know. This is an entire second life outside of your marriage. You are still in shock, as this is a betrayal beyond a shorter affair.

Give yourself time to absorb this. There is a nice reconcile group here that can guide you if you choose to start with that path, and you are free to change your mind at any moment. Personally, nine years just blows my mind. It rewrites your history for many years.

It is important to let the other spouse know so he can move forward with his life and not continue to waste it on this person under false pretenses.

Take care of yourself. Remember to drink lots of water, eat healthy, support your immune system etc,

Whatever paths you choose, you will get through this.

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Sofarsogood ( Member #71991) posted at 3:11 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Anything is possible, but counseling for both of you may be needed. He needs to be honest with you on why he did what he did and also the depth of this relationship. How did you finally discover his affair and not just suspect? Was he in the affair for sex or was there more to it? How were you treated when the affair was ongoing? Ultimately, you have to decide if this is something you can live with or recover from.

posts: 272   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 6:05 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

If the cow is M, please, please, please inform her BS. I know it's scary. I know he might not appreciate it. But it's the right thing to do.

Some people know what they want to do immediately on d-day. If you think you want to R - as I did - my reco is to take your time to be sure. But no matter what, figure out what you want. You have to choose between difficult options now, and going for what you want will be easier than not knowing or forcing yourself into an option you don't really want.

If you want R, observe your H. He talks a good game, and ending the A immediately is a good sign, but R takes a lot more than that. He needs to change himself from cheater to good partner, and I don't think it's easy to do that after 9 years of lying.

R takes a long time because it's a lot of work and because you both will probably have to build new habits - your WS definitely has to build new habits and new boundaries. It takes consistent behavior for a long time for those habits to get solid.

You also have to process the anger, grief, fear, and shame that comes with being betrayed. The rule of thumb at SI is 2-5 years for that - R is still more work, so R probably takes longer. It took me 3.5-4 years to feel confident in R. My W, however, feels like she is still working on it. Many of us in long term R say we're on the long term plan. smile

Some reading I recommend:

https://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.

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

Tactical Primer: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Boundaries and Consequences 101: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=385631

Setting Healthy Boundaries: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Before You Say Reconcile: https://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

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.

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tushnurse ( Member #21101) posted at 6:46 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Most of us here will tell you that for R to begin to happen he absolutely needs to establish full No Contact (NC) with the AP. If that cannot be done because they work together, then it is time for him to find a new job.
Seriously, this should be a line in the sand for you. Until you know he isn't seeing her everyday and have the opportunity to go to lunch, or chat when he is feeling a little down or having a tough day you won't feel safe, and with good reason.

He is saying all the right things, but is he doing them? Has he signed up for therapy for himself? Infidelity is his issue and the ability to justify 9 years of lies is some pretty deep seated brokenness that he needs to work through to become a safe partner for you moving forward.

I know others mentioned seeing your Dr full STD testing for both is mandatory, or should be from you to consider moving forward. If you are struggling with sleeping and eating then you need to let the Dr know as well. Get a referral for a therapist that specializes in TRAUMA not infidelity. Infidelity is his problem not yours, you are just left to clean up the pieces of that trauma.

See an attorney, with or without his approval. You need to understand what your rights and his obligations are and what D looks like for you to make an informed choice in moving forward in healing yourself and possibly your M.

Stop listening to his words, because they sound like perfect cheater speak from what you have shared, and it can be really confusing, and start watching his actions. You deserve much better than a partner who comfortably lied to you for 9 years. He has some real hard work to do, and he is the only one who can do it. You can't love him into doing it. You can't do it for him. He has to do it. Can it be done, absolutely if he gets honest with himself and separates himself from his AP 100%, then yes.

But.... you need to know what your boundaries are and where your line in the sand is, because otherwise he will be moving it to suit him and what is easiest for him. Do NOT allow fear of the unknown rule your choices either. If this is a deal breaker for you then it's a deal breaker, and there is nothing wrong with walking away and saying I'm done. No one would fault you for that.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

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redwing6 ( Member #72593) posted at 6:47 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Can you come back from this? Of course. Are you willing to accept that your husband had a 9 year relationship with another woman? Is that something you can live with? Because if you go down the path to reconciliation, you're going to have to accept it. Also, as long as they work together the relationship is ongoing.

Basically, you have the words of a liar and cheater that they no longer interact. Cheaters lie, then lie some more. The only way he can stay at that company is if his AP leaves. Else he must find another job. Next week! Right now you can't believe a thing he says.

I wont tell you what to do, as you have to choose your own path. I suggest you ask your WH if, the positions were reversed would he file for divorce...

BH 58,
WW #2 D'd after 6month EA who scammed her out of our life savings
WW #1 51 since remaired twice continues to cheat even today
WW #2 Refuses to admit she wrecked our marriage
DD adult 32
DSD adult 33
DSS adult 30

posts: 248   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2020   ·   location: Savannah, GA
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clouds777 ( Member #72442) posted at 6:53 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Does the other betrayed spouse know?

Why is he still at a job with his LTAP? What is he doing about that? Has he even considered that your marriage is far less likely to survive if he does not voluntarily cut any ties to her, no matter what the expense is to him?

Do not focus on him or your marriage, only you. Many people could not come back from a 9 year affair. Especially if their supposedly remorseful spouse is planning to continue working with the AP. But only you can decide if you can. To make this decision, you should spend as long as you need to heal yourself and address your needs and wants. You can change your mind as many times as you need to because you don't owe the cheater ANYTHING.

I am wishing you strength and clarity. Keep posting. You will get a lot of support and good advice.

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src9043 ( Member #75367) posted at 6:57 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Please go into counseling with someone versed in infidelity. You need to get to the bottom of why you want to stay with this guy. The level of deceit he perpetrated is beyond comprehension and beyond reconciliation in my opinion.

One thing you must do is tell the husband of your husband's girlfriend everything you know. This must be done. She is as horrible as your husband. Her husband must learn what he has for a wife.

Your husband must leave his job if reconciliation is to be considered. He should be looking immediately. Meanwhile, slap a chastity device on him when he leaves for work, not to be removed until he comes home at night until he has another job. Better yet, make him wear one for the next nine years to make up for his nine years of cheating. I say this in jest, but if these devices really work, your husband would be the perfect candidate to wear one.

Everyone is different so if you want to stay married to him that is your call. He has done a few of the requirements to start putting the marriage back together. The big ones that he must still do are to go completely no contact with his girlfriend forever, contact her husband and confess to him what the two of them have been doing for nine years, and get a new job. He also must get into counseling with a therapist versed in infidelity. Either he leaves or she leaves their employment. NO WAY NO HOW SHOULD HE WORK ONE MORE DAY WITH HER. Don't accept anything less than that.

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Ariopolis ( Member #75786) posted at 10:27 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I will post more later, but in an affair as long as this, she is more like a shadow wife than an AP. I would imagine she knows all your passwords to all social media, probably to your email, possibly to checking/financial accounts too.

Change the passwords and don't use your children's birthdates, nicknames or pet names because she knows all this too.

You don't want her to be able to read your email to get a hint of what's going on in your M.

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Trapped74 ( Member #49696) posted at 10:55 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

My first (and second, and third) impulse is "no." He's making all the right noises now, but in 6 months, when you're still struggling with the mind movies, and asking the same questions you've already asked (it's a trauma response) he's going to start getting angry and dismissing your pain. "Get over it, already," "I've already answered that," "Gawd why don't you trust me?"

9 YEARS OF LIES.

He is who is was then, and he will not change. Save yourself years of heartache and start making plans for D. Yes, it will hurt like hell, but you will not regret D. I will bet lots of money you will regret any attempt at R. Probably more than once. Ask me how I know.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

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scaredwoman ( Member #78680) posted at 11:02 PM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I'm so sorry. I can't answer that question but I can wonder how a marriage can be considered real when a 3rd person was involved. How do you know that any of what you have shared for the last 9 years was real and true. How do you know that it was "only" 9 years and that you haven't been the OW in their relationship all this time?

Individual counseling is a must. Work on you first, and hopefully the rest fall into place.

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cheatingisabuse ( New Member #75651) posted at 12:27 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Anything’s possible, but this will take a ton of work on both of your parts (assuming he’s reconciliation material) as well as years of time. I would recommend you to not make
A decision right away and implement the 180 to work on yourself. Also, at least for me, him finding a new job would be non-negotiable. Although, to be fair, a 9 year affair would result in an immediate divorce from my end.

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NotInMyLife ( Member #67728) posted at 1:13 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

I sort of knew for at least 7 of those 9 years due to slip ups he made along the way, I just didn't want to believe and with more or less success tried to convince myself it wasn't true. He finished it immediately after D-day and wants to reconcile.

You were in denial for 7 years, what confirmed it? What was the trigger for D-day Do you truly believe that he flopped a switch on D-day and no longer has feelings for his girl-friend, whom he still sees at work? He has spent half of your marriage in an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with another woman while you were raising your children. You actually don't know him as well as you would if he hadn't been sharing himself with another woman so why are you so willing to believe him now?

My answer to your question would be that it's not possible under the current conditions. Do not deceive yourself, he hasn't cut her off and won't until he changes jobs. That's the absolute first step to building a new marriage with him. And even then, they will probably keep it up until the affair is fully exposed to her husband and your families (their co-workers already know). You will both need a lot of individual counseling before you know whether reconciliation is feasible.

[This message edited by NotInMyLife at 8:13 AM, Wednesday, September 15th]

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Aletheia ( Member #79172) posted at 4:32 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Zeta, I am so incredibly sorry. I have not reconciled after a LTA so I cannot imagine what you’re going through and take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

Is it possible to recover? Anything’s possible, people say they have. How can you live with this affair? I have absolutely no idea. He had a whole entire separate intimate relationship with another woman for the better part of your marriage. Take into account their time at work and he’s probably spent more time with her than you. He took time and energy away from your marriage and family for her. Let it negatively affect your marriage. Watched you cry and your sadness over the affair. She knew all about you and he told you nothing about her, except for denials. And now has the audacity to say he’s "ashamed" GMAFB. How you get over that I do not know and anyone who does is incredibly stronger than I could ever even imagine to be.

He comforts me when I am down. He does small things that make me feel loved every day.

A husband is supposed to do this!! Please BS stop giving WS accolades for doing doing nothing spectacular.

Your husband being extra nice isn’t going to fix this. Therapy is a must, it may not be popular in your area but this isn’t a disagreement over how to spend the tax refund, you’re husband essentially committed bigamy.

You need to tell OBS ASAP. He deserves the truth the same way that you did. If your husband dares to say anything to you about it then you know he broke NC w/the AP b/c he otherwise shouldn’t know. Nor should he GAF.

Your husband must quit his job. No excuses. The negative ramifications are consequences of his infidelity. Lots of jobs are hiring right now.

JMO your husband should be reading books on infidelity & put in the work.

Their mutual friend who was aware of the affair is not a friend of your marriage & your husband must send them a NC.

Take care of yourself. Also, you don’t have to be committed to reconciliation. Don’t make yourself sick trying to force it if deep down you know you can’t find the trust to rebuild a new marriage with him. Please update us I’m so worried for you.

[This message edited by Aletheia at 3:33 AM, Wednesday, September 15th]

Your best must be just as glorious as your betrayal was destructive.

Don’t allow people to “Life is short” you to amend bad relationships. Forgiveness /= reconciliation. Leave them people where they are. Life was short when they did what they did.

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 ZetaCephei (original poster New Member #79378) posted at 10:34 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your input and your support. I will try to answer your questions best as possible, but for some, I am not even sure, what to think myself.

I agree with everyone saying I need to take care of myself right now and I try to. I have been reading a lot this past two months, this site and others and some of the suggested books. I have been surprisingly "OK" considering the situation. I am devastated, but not so much more than before, I cried more during our confrontations in the last 9 years, then now. I sleep fine, with the exception of the first few nights after D-day, I have no trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. Mornings are tough and we usually have hard conversations then, when I wake up early and can't go back to sleep. I eat like I always have, not as healthy as I should, but I am trying, and the same goes for exercising. I function pretty normally with other people and with the kids. With WH I am triggered all the time, so I think about the LTA all the time when we are together, but with others I manage to function OK. I was wondering why I am taking things much more calmly as I would expect from myself. Maybe it is still the shock? Or, and this is the only other answer I could come up with, is that on some level I was sure our marriage was over for quite some time now and I had time to process and to mourn. Let me explain: as I wrote yesterday, I was pretty much aware something was going on for the better part of the affair and tried to talk to him about it many times over the years. With no success, so about three years ago, I sort of gave up on our relationship. I believed whatever they had was over at the time (no slip ups in the last few years), I just couldn't imagine living in a lie for the rest of our lives, so I was sure we were heading for divorce, I just wasn't ready to go through with it at the time. I had a plan on how to tell the kids, how to ask them if they want to live with me or him, I also thought about where one of us will live and what to do about our finances. It wasn't actually a conscious plan for divorce, but things were heading there. Then D-day came and the truth was worse than I suspected. It was one of the worst days in my life, but at the same time it was also some kind of relief. Not because he wants to reconcile, but because living in the hell of not knowing for sure, of questioning myself, was finally over. If nothing else, the last years have taught me that I can live without him, that I can go on. It would be hard, but I can survive. I told him all that, even my plans on divorce, telling kids, moving out. Then he completely surprised me, wanting to reconcile. I didn't see that coming.

He is still working with AP. He is willing to change jobs, and is looking for options but I am reluctant to demand it from him. It is still on the table, for the moment I just have to see if I can live with them working in the same building. Also, we have a loan (bought a house just last year) and can't afford being on one salary or to take a substantial cut. It is incredibly hard knowing he can see her in common areas at work almost every day. At least they don't work with each other and they can't interact during work hours. Breaks could be a problem. I have their work schedules and for now their breaks rarely overlap and he told his boss about the affair, to minimize the chance of them having to actually work together on some project. On the other hand, if I tell her husband, maybe the problem will solve itself smile .

Is he completely transparent giving you access to everything? Phone, emails including work emails, voicemails, social media, etc?

Yes I have access to everything I want, but I am aware, that if he wants to continue the affair, this won't stop him. He had a burner phone before and he can easily get another one or set up a new email account. He says he won't, but we'll see.

To add to previous posters: you mentioned that the OW is married. If this is still a case, you need to contact OBS (other betrayed spouse). He has an agency to know the truth.

She is married, yes. I know her husband's name and found his work phone number online, so I have the means to contact him. I thing he deserves the truth and him knowing would make it even harder for them to continue with the affair. What is holding me back, is what if he doesn't want to know. Do I have the right to force the truth to him? I know he had his suspicions along the way, but what if he chooses to live in denial? On the other hand, he could be like me and just needs a wake up call. I will have to think some more about that, but I am pretty sure, I will contact him in the near future. My WH is not thrilled about that, but as I told him, it is not his decision and he can't do anything to prevent it.

How was it found out?

I caught him with his burner phone. He was texting her while at home and kind of I sneaked up on him. He tried to deny at the very beginning, but soon realized he has no other choice than to come clean.

That is a full on second relationship for him. He is bonded with her and has a private history with her he will never forget. Will he miss the comfort of that relationship when it is ended a month from now? A year from now when life gets boring? Maybe, maybe not, but how will you know. This is an entire second life outside of your marriage. You are still in shock, as this is a betrayal beyond a shorter affair.

This is how I feel. He has a history with her that goes back almost half of our marriage, almost a third of our entire relationship. I can't be sure he doesn't miss it or won't miss it in the future. He says he doesn't think about her now, even though he admits he did love her. Is it possible to stop loving her in an instant, just because I found out? He claims he also loved me the whole time and he never considered leaving. He even told her that a couple of times (I believe he really did, it was confirmed in some messages on the burner phone).

He needs to be honest with you on why he did what he did and also the depth of this relationship. How did you finally discover his affair and not just suspect? Was he in the affair for sex or was there more to it? How were you treated when the affair was ongoing? Ultimately, you have to decide if this is something you can live with or recover from.

He has told me a lot about their relationship and in as many details as I needed. I can't be sure I know everything, but I have a good feeling he is telling the truth finally. Before, I always had a feeling, he was holding back. The affair was both physical and emotional. Maybe more emotional, since they really didn't have many opportunities for the physical part. A few out of town conferences (maybe one or two a year and not even that in the last two years) and an occasional afternoon (once a month, rarely twice and nothing physical in the last year and a half). We both have jobs, which finish by 15.00 or 15.30 and are close together, so we usually drive home together and we didn't change this routine in the last 9 years. Before the affair I thought our relationship was great. He was loving, caring, we were spending a lot of time together, with kids and alone, we didn't neglect that part of our relationship. We were great together. His behavior towards me has changed a bit during the affair, he was still loving and paying attention to me, but to a lesser extent as before. If I hadn't suspected an affair, I might not even have noticed, or maybe I would and would account it to both of us being tired, with three young kids and full time jobs. But he was never mean to me and he still spent a lot of time with us.

Stop listening to his words, because they sound like perfect cheater speak from what you have shared, and it can be really confusing, and start watching his actions. You deserve much better than a partner who comfortably lied to you for 9 years. He has some real hard work to do, and he is the only one who can do it. You can't love him into doing it. You can't do it for him. He has to do it. Can it be done, absolutely if he gets honest with himself and separates himself from his AP 100%, then yes.

I am aware of that. He says everything right, but it could be just talk. He is a good talker and he has proved that he is a very good liar as well. His actions are in line with his words right now, but I will have to be carful he doesn't blindside me again.

Are you willing to accept that your husband had a 9 year relationship with another woman? Is that something you can live with? Because if you go down the path to reconciliation, you're going to have to accept it. Also, as long as they work together the relationship is ongoing.

This is what I have been struggling with. I want us to work, but I am not sure I can live with all the lies and betrayal. I don't even know how to begin. I just know I want to try. I have good days, when I believe we can survive together, but there are times when the thought of them together is too much to bear. I will have to figure this out along the way. I told him I was willing to try to see if it is possible to repair our relationship, but I couldn't promise anything.

I would imagine she knows all your passwords to all social media, probably to your email, possibly to checking/financial accounts too.

At least about this I can be sure. He doesn't know my passwords (never wanted to, I would have told him otherwise), so she can't know either.

My first (and second, and third) impulse is "no." He's making all the right noises now, but in 6 months, when you're still struggling with the mind movies, and asking the same questions you've already asked (it's a trauma response) he's going to start getting angry and dismissing your pain. "Get over it, already," "I've already answered that," "Gawd why don't you trust me?"

It was my first impulse as well. Now, I don't know. All I know, if he starts acting like you described, I am out. I am willing to try R, but only if he is committed 100% and only if he gives me all the support I need. And even then, 9 years of lies may be too much. If anything good has come from these 9 years, it is that I now know, I can survive on my own. If I survived last 9 years, I can survive anything.

I'm so sorry. I can't answer that question but I can wonder how a marriage can be considered real when a 3rd person was involved. How do you know that any of what you have shared for the last 9 years was real and true. How do you know that it was "only" 9 years and that you haven't been the OW in their relationship all this time?

This is a big problem. I feel like everything in the last 9 years was a lie. I look at the photos from this period and I am sad, because nothing was as it seemed. I resent him from destroying 9 years of memories of my life, of our children's childhood. I had so many fond memories on this time, and now they are all tainted. I wonder if he was thinking of her, while we were taking that photos. He says not, he had everything compartmentalized, when he was with me, with us, he didn't think about her and the other way around. I am not sure I can buy that, I sure can't understand.

About the affair lasting 9 years I am sure, he didn't even know her for much longer (maybe 11-12 years) and I have some evidence confirming the timeline.

You were in denial for 7 years, what confirmed it? Do you truly believe that he flopped a switch on D-day and no longer has feelings for his girl-friend, whom he still sees at work? He has spent half of your marriage in an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with another woman. You didn't even have his undivided attention during either of your pregnancies. You actually don't know him as well as you would if he hadn't been sharing himself with another woman so why are you so willing to believe him now?

I caught him with a burner phone, so he had to come clean. I am not sure about his feelings. He says he has none any more for her and he acts accordingly, but how can I ever be sure. It is hard to me to understand, that he can love someone, and then just stop in an instant, because I found out. He admits he did love her. Could he cut me out like that as well, if she was the one he chose to be with? He assures me, he has always loved me as well, and always more than her, but this can be bullshit. After he dumped her, he talked to her again on two occasions, because he wanted some kind of closure. I agreed to that in advance, but demanded he tells her the truth about our relationship as well to make her realize she was always the second choice. She had this idea that we were little more than roommates (or she wanted to make us just that) and that they had some great love story. She wanted for him to stop having sex with me after they hooked up, so he lied to her about us. She also had problems with him going to vacations with me, alone ore as a family (they always fought during summer and winter holidays) and with him doing everything with or for me. At least he ignored her on all that. So when they talked he did tell her the truth about us as well and she didn't take it well. She is ignoring him completely right now. Before that she thought they can continue to have a normal workplace relationship. She even complained about the way he cut her off completely and came to him a couple of times with work related issues and he had to shut her down, but not any more.

This affair started when our youngest was almost two, so during pregnancies we were still OK.

My answer to your question would be that it's not possible under the current conditions. Do not deceive yourself, he hasn't cut her off and won't until he changes jobs. That's the absolute first step to building a new marriage with him. And even then, they will probably keep it up until the affair is fully exposed to her husband and your families (their co-workers already know). You will both need a lot of individual counseling before you know whether reconciliation is feasible.

As I wrote above, I am still thinking about demanding job change, but he is willing if I decide so. I will probably also call her husband. As for disclosing everything to our friends and families, or even to my friends, I don't want to do that right now. I know what I would think if any of them was in the same situation - I would be supportive, but I would think they deserved better and probably would feel less of them if they decided to stay with the cheater. I don't want them to think like that about me. If I decide to go, I will tell everything to everyone and I know I will have their full support. For now, I choose to stay alone in this. It is hard, because I have only him to talk about the affair, but this is my choice for now. At his work, two people know about the affair, their mutual friend, and his boss, he told her after I found out so that he could minimize any contact with AP.

Counselling is on the table, but we haven't decided to start yet. I want to see where we are heading first and to try to sort things out by ourselves, but at any moment I feel we can't do it alone, this will be a must. I told him that already and he agreed.

Is it possible to recover? Anything’s possible, people say they have. How can you live with this affair? I have absolutely no idea. He had a whole entire separate intimate relationship with another woman for the better part of your marriage. Take into account their time at work and he’s probably spent more time with her than you. He took time and energy away from your marriage and family for her. Let it negatively affect your marriage. Watched you cry and your sadness over the affair. She knew all about you and he told you nothing about her, except for denials. And now has the audacity to say he’s "ashamed" GMAFB. How you get over that I do not know and anyone who does is incredibly stronger than I could ever even imagine to be.

Thank you for this. Yes, he has put her in front of our family, of our marriage. He knew what he was doing and what his actions were doing to me and he just didn't care. And all the compartmentalizing couldn't make him not see that he was willingly destroying our relationship. He says now, the option of me finding out just didn't exist for him. He thought the world would end if I did. So he didn't think about this possibility at all. But he did see me devastated when I found out some portions of the truth, he did see me cry and he can't say he didn't know how the whole thing was affecting me. He was gaslighting me all the time, but on some level he must have known I didn't buy his story.

I asked him, why should I believe now is any different than all the instances in the past 9 years, when he told me he loved me and promised he had nothing to do with her. He says it just is different. Different for him, because now I know for sure and he has no doubt that this is his last chance. He said he has decided to be the person he wants to be and plans to stick to it. We'll see.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 10:45 AM, Wednesday, September 15th]

posts: 3   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8688578
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TruthIsPower ( Member #75776) posted at 1:26 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

What is holding me back, is what if he doesn't want to know. Do I have the right to force the truth to him? I know he had his suspicions along the way, but what if he chooses to live in denial? On the other hand, he could be like me and just needs a wake up call.

Zeta, you yourself wanted to know all those years what was going on with your marriage and your relationship with WS, you state about 9 years of gaslighting in your last post. Every BS on SI wanted to know, gut feeling really eats you up mentally and physically. After you tell OBS, he will decide on his own what to do with all this information. But don't tell your WS when you'll be contacting OBS, though he already knows you will. This way you'll also know if they still in contact. You should inform him in the name of the highest good. It's like turning the light on the roaches.

The affair was both physical and emotional. Maybe more emotional, since they really didn't have many opportunities for the physical part.

Did you ask him to write a detailed timeline? You can then check it for truthfulness.
You have no idea about the "physical part", not that it really matters at this point... OBS may help you to compare the notes though...

It is hard to me to understand, that he can love someone, and then just stop in an instant, because I found out. He admits he did love her.

Looks like two selfish and entitled people played out their fantasy second lives behind the backs of their BS's. Is this Love?
If your WH "decided to be the person he wants to be and plans to stick to it", it's a hard work ahead of him... Does he even know what the REAL LOVE is?

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 95   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
id 8688590
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