Newest Member: HeartbrokenWife76

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

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:40 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

For some reason long-term affairs just break my heart. I don’t have anyway to get in your mind because my husband cheated out of town when we were first married and he has long been past that. I knew because I was told but I let it go because I was a very young mother with no way to provide financially for my children. Over the years he’s grown up and so have I. Your story is entirely different. He has been putting time and energy and probably money into a whole hidden relationship.The problem with this is it wasn’t very well hidden because you suspected something. He lied so easily to you it makes me wonder how deeply he can really love. We all support you here and really all we want for you is to get you out of infidelity however you choose to do it. You can stay married to him but live in entirety separate lives, or you can try to put it back together the way it was at the beginning, or you can divorce. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, in your own house, in your own life.
I don’t know how to tell you to get to a poster that was here several years ago. You might find him through Google. His name was AmbivalentOne. His wife was home with their young children and connected with a man who also was home with his children and they had a torrid affair for nine years. They took trips out of town together. They had sex many times in his home, in his bed. He never suspected a thing but came across old information and what he found changed his life. He could not stay married to her. Her children turned against her. The tragedy of this is her lover and his family had been killed in a car wreck and so for many years she had been an exemplary wife and mother. All that was gone in an instant. He was not able to live with it but you might be able to. Once you stay on this forum long enough you will see many, many times people overcome horrible stories and manage to stay together and others can’t handle it and move on.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2945   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8688593
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Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 2:40 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

My H had 2 LTAs over a 9 year period, and he remained close to his first AP (their relationship moved from a PA (1 year) to an EA (8 years) and a 3 year PA/EA with another woman - whose husband found out which is what blew everything up. We had been married for 14 years when the first affair started and have been together for 29 years. I found out about 4 years ago and we did R and my husband does still work with the first AP. So it is possible. It’s not easy. I think what has worked for us is

1. Both affairs were over by the time I found out. My husband did not have any desire to be with or maintain a relationship with either AP. I had a really hard time believing him with the first AP because they had deceived me for so long and I knew that they were friends. But for the first year I watched him like a hawk and he was transparent in his communications with her. She tried to reestablish their friendship and he shut it down. They still work together and it sucks but quitting or getting another job isn’t really a viable option in his field and at his age and he is able to limit contact with her. It helps that when she discovered that I knew about the affair she showed herself to be the narcissist that she is so any lingering good feelings about her my husband had were extinguished. If your husband can switch jobs it would be better. I still hate interacting with her and it’s not always avoidable. The fact that my husband had an affair with a coworker when he knew that he couldn’t change jobs and neither could she is a sore point (they are academics in a field with few jobs). He had been trying to end The relationship with second AP before I knew, which is why she blew everything up. So she wasn’t really a concern.

2. Our marriage had been good and we were compatible. I don’t understand why people stay with cheaters that they don’t really like. But I also earn enough and have enough support that I am not reliant on my husband financially. I had the resources to leave. This is actually freeing because you can decide if the marriage is actually good.

3. We have kids. If we had been childless I probably wouldn’t have stayed as the level of betrayal was really high. I think having and maintaining a stable family is important for my kids wellbeing both emotionally and economically. The kids were the reason I was willing to give things a chance when I otherwise would have pulled the plug. In my case it has worked out because the other conditions for R were there. If other conditions aren’t there I don’t think that the kids are a reason to stay in a bad marriage.

4. My Husband has been all-in in the marriage and once he got out of his shame spiral and started actually being able to be a support and be authentic and honest things got better. We have the marriage that we had before job and parenting stress took over and before my Husband checked out. During the 9 years he was having the affairs the quality of our marriage declined and I was thinking about divorce before I knew that he was unfaithful. I just thought we we were not compatible anymore. And l really don’t like or respect the person he was. But l do like and increasingly respect the person he is becoming.

You don’t have to make fast decisions and you should prepare yourself to be able to leave so that you can choose. It is really sad to hear about marriages where the person who was cheated on stayed, but is really unhappy and doesn’t trust or respect their spouse. Life is too short to live like that.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2018
id 8688600
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:44 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Please tell the other BETRAYED spouse immediately. Sooner than immediately.

It says a lot about your husband that he plans to wait for your demand that he leave his job. Like others have said, what really matters is what he does on his own, no demands. He found time and energy to sneak and lie and cheat. Can he put even more energy into fixing what he has destroyed?

Your WS should be insisting that the obs know, if he is serious about change. Please tell him right away. It is the kindest thing you can do for him.

Please don't do marriage counseling anytime soon. This would be like picking out drapes for your house while it's on fire. You both should be in intensive individual counseling. Marriage counseling is for working on your marriage, which you don't currently have because your husband burned it to the ground. The marriage doesn't need work, your cheater does. Give it lots of time before you even consider marriage counseling.

posts: 133   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8688601
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Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 2:50 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Tell the other spouse. I learned from my husband that the husband of his first AP found out about the affair. They divorced. I think her affair with my husband was a classic exit affair. I knew her ex-husband but he never told me, I am sure because he didn’t want to hurt me or my marriage. Telling me would have saved me 8 years of a shitty marriage and probably would have either resulted in us getting divorced or my husband getting his shit together faster and likely avoided the other affair.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2018
id 8688602
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 3:35 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

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.

.

I'm so sorry. I think you might be in shock. Please reconsider an IC immediately to support yourself through this.

Wishing you the best.

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

posts: 319   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8688605
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:01 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Zeta, I came here this morning thinking I might post some thoughts on the 4th anniversary of my first DDay, but I saw your post and have so much empathy for you, and a lot to say. My husband's affair was also 9 years, a quarter of our marriage, and I was completely blindsided. NO ONE could have guessed he was capable of such a thing, let alone lying that it was three months, then 6 years, then 8 then 9 years after I got his MOW to tell me the timeline he couldn't even remember. To answer your question, yes, I think so, maybe, we are trying and it is still hard. Nothing in my life has been this painful, difficult or confusing. So far, we work to make each day better than the one before, and to string together more good days than bad. We hope love is enough. You both have to really want to make it work and you have to really work hard.

I have so much more I would like to say to you.

First, you are only 2 months in, and so much will happen and change as you process the shock. I have a digital journal that is well over 500 pages long, filled with my discoveries, our conversations, my discovery timeline and my insane rollercoaster of emotions. I have been OK, turned the corner, on the mend and recovered more times than I can remember, only to plummet into despair or apathy or rage. I seem to be stuck in the churning cycle, but I can tell you that the highs and lows seem to be leveling off a bit lately. My early journal entries are shocking, sad and funny at times. I would like to warn you that the shock just keeps coming because the triggers are almost a decade's worth of skewed memories, and for me dates are the most triggering. So please, be patient with yourself. Journal your journey, and watch for trends - pitfalls or progress and use them to help guide yourself through this nightmare.

Second, you need to deal with MOW for your own sanity. Scare her away, tell her spouse, whatever it takes to secure your perimeter. I ended their affair, 7 months after my initial discovery and his lie filled promises to love me to his dying day, and assurances there was NC for years. When I found the email proving they were still in contact, I emailed her directly instead of waiting to trust the lies of a confused trapped BH. I made myself clear, they were welcome to each other if we divorced, any other contact meant war, and I was ready to go nuclear and expose them to the world, starting with delivering their emails to her BS's office. She scurried away in shame and fear and my WH broke free of his screwed up entanglement with her. It was horrifying, but more so, because it took a year to find the digital clues to realize there wasn't just a brief fling then LT EA, but years of PA. They both knew that I knew and went underground, thinking they could just keep me in the dark and continue their secret second lives. So, do what you must, get one of them to change jobs and be sure that stupid woman knows you will not be trifled with one second more.

Third, pay the most attention to what your husband does, not what he says. The contradictions are endless. Much of my confusion stems from the loving, caring, cuddly fun person I spent all those cheating years with, because he looks and sounds the same as the one I live with now. I get very confused looking into the loving eyes that say they are sorry and that he is mine and mine alone now, because they look the same as the liar's eyes. Your perception of your husband as a man and a person will be tested, and reshaped. I still struggle with the chicken-egg logic - has he always been this morally bankrupt version and I never saw it, or did he change into this lesser version of himself? If so, how did he change himself back into someone worthy of what I have to offer? I got the "you make me want to be a better man" story and the "watching you fight so hard for me and our marriage made me realize how much I loved you" story. But he can't tell me the story of how he knowingly manipulated, gaslit and hurt me to serve his own selfish interests and to spare his girlfriend the pain of losing him, at my expense, and the expense of his credibility and our marriage. He does not know. He can't explain it. That sucks for me, because I live for explanations. So, I watch what he does now and how he treats me, but his words confuse or trigger me more than I could have guessed.

Fourth, know this is a very long journey for you, and for you both. It took me over a year to realize how confused and stressed he was, and how high his BP had gotten from dealing with the fallout. I had my own journey to empathy of sorts with him. There is nothing that they can say or do to erase the shock of betrayal or the feelings of humiliation at being fooled and disrespected by someone you love for so long. You will need to work day to day to get through this. You will have many days where you question your decision to stay, and you will wonder if you will ever wake up happy again, and not remember this heartache every moment. You need to take stock of how much you love him and your life together and how badly you want to try and keep it in whatever form it takes as you heal and rebuild. We decided early on we would be miserable apart, might as well be miserable together. (These words said mid-fight, but true) But you need to be prepared for the 3-5 year thing being a short estimate for us VLTA survivors trying to reconcile. Should more unpleasant truth come out the clock starts over. Technically, my clock restarted for the last time this April, when I finally got MOW to tell me the truth after telling me three different lies. My WH can't handle his truth or his shame or his painful memories and can't stand the thought of her, she means nothing to him now, he left her behind in my wake without a second thought. So he is not too helpful with my need to know everything program. He knows he came way too close to ruining everything and he is trying as best he can, but he is not a great R candidate and we do fight quite a bit now. We never really fought before, just seethed and resented, so I guess yelling and stomping away is progress?

We are learning how to communicate and the ways we set each other off. I see progress here, which helps. I'm trying to communicate without scaring him away, which I did a lot in my early hysterical insane early discovery years. I have thought I had hit the bottom so many times, but there isn't one, really. Be sure you have a support group, friends, family and SI mentors to help you vent and sort through. If you love your H as much as I do mine, and your lives and dreams are as entwined as ours, leaving seems no option, and staying and trying to work it out the only choice. BUT. Fight, Flight and Freeze will be the responses your brain has to pick from and under stress, I still want to pack a suitcase and go anywhere but here. It is hard for him to have me speak so glibly about leaving him, but I have to protect myself however I can. This has certainly changed me, changed my life and altered my brain chemistry in ways I am still learning to recognize and manage without prescription medication. Take care of yourself, and pay attention to yourself. Be prepared to weather the storms of grief, despair, rage, disappointment and heartache that are going to come and go as you move through this process. Ask for whatever you need from him to help you.

Fifth, please calmly and explicitly ensure your WH knows and agrees to the rules you set for your marriage. Make him understand there is no more grace to be given, no more chances. My WH knows I have resolved to accept no more disrespect, no more lies, no more secrets, no more unexpressed frustrations or resentments and no more attitude in dealing with the fallout from his bad choices. The biggest change is that I know my worth and I will not accept less than that now. Of course, in 2018, when given the "any more lies and I walk" ultimatum, when I was in the middle of learning the real truth, he still took a shot and lied about the length of the affair, and I didn't have proof otherwise, so I believed him. This pattern continued for three long years of unravelling their story. I remain confused and damaged by their inability to just be HONEST. Were it not for the stories here, I would have no clue how typical it is, that most cheaters lie about every single aspect of their affairs, and for some reason just do not feel they owe us the decency of the truth, or they are too emotionally stunted or cowardly to be truthful. Some are just plain evil narcissists and at least I don't have one of those.

Keep reading here, keep talking to those who support you and can help you. I tell everyone this. My therapist, when I came to him in crisis after discovering the lies about the lies, advised me to take my time. Take all the time you need. You can always leave. Be sure that is what you want, be sure that you envision the future you want for yourself and work to achieve it. But in the crisis of discovery, you do not have to make more life altering decisions. If you feel safe and loved, stay and see what trying feels like for you. You can always go. It's time for you to be the selfish one in your marriage and make sure your life, with our without your stranger of a spouse, is the one YOU choose. Best to you, and Hugs.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 7:41 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8688607
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NotInMyLife ( member #67728) posted at 8:15 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

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.

Ummm,NO. It's not up to you to tell him what to do, he should decide on his own to find another job and start looking right now. He's set it up for you to take the initiative here. He's not doing anything but reacting to you, he should be taking the responsibility for the mess he created. If he asks again whether he should find another job, tell him truthfully that building trust is not about his "comforting" you, it's about his taking any and all necessary action to change course completely.[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]He can get two jobs or a side job to his new one.

Is it possible to stop loving her in an instant, just because I found out?

of course not. He knew that his relationship with the woman was an issue and he kept gaslighting you, becoming bolder and bolder about flaunting it in your face.

As for disclosing everything to our friends and families, or even to my friends, I don't want to do that right now.

Others are aware than you think. You have family members who know that you've been uncomfortable with their "friendship" for years and his boss was probably not surprised by his confession since it has been an open secret to most. At the very least, you need to confide in one or two close friends who can help support you in the weeks and months ahead.

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...

How do you sort things out with someone who has done nothing but twist your justified concerns into arguments? Find an individual counselor for yourself first and sort out your own feelings first. You gave up on your marriage 3 years ago and now you are looking to your cheating husband to patch things up? Marriage counseling should not be on the table at all at this point. And there is no way you should even consider it until he has spend some time in individual counseling himself.

I feel like everything in the last 9 years was a lie

. You feel that way because it was. Those happy memories you have were actually missed opportunities for your marriage. You were doing all the hard work of putting your family first and grateful for the "Kodak" moments. You were building superficial memories without the emotional engagement that deepens a marriage over the years.

[This message edited by NotInMyLife at 8:31 PM, Wednesday, September 15th]

posts: 133   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Hi Zeta,

I'm so sorry you find yourself here. At first glance you seem to be doing remarkably well in the circumstances - please know that it's okay not to be okay. Please make sure you are taking care of yourself. The 180 is your best friend. It sounds like you have started this even before D-Day began. Please keep it up.

While I have no experience with a LTA, I have a bit of experience with a few things that I think are relevant.

The first is that my WH's AP was also a married co-worker. Like your spouse he immediately "chose" me on D-Day. He claims that he never wanted anything to do with her long-term and that it was all compartmentalized when he was with her. The best thing I ever did was to tell OBS immediately and blow everything up. It meant that there were two sets of eyes on the situation which was very helpful. Moreover, it meant that I was able to compare stories with OBS which helped me feel like what I was being told was accuate. Cheaters rarely tell 100% of the truth right away on their own. After years of lying, you don't just become transparent and honest overnight. More than likely he's holding some stuff back either to "protect you", to protect her, or to protect himself. You cannot start healing and forgiving until you know what you are healing from. Every piece of new information will be ripping the scab off the wound. The more times this happens, the more likely you are to be left with a scar.

You mention that you are unsure about whether the OBS will want to know about the A. The answer is always yes. In the years I have been here, I have never met a BS who truly wished that they didn't know. I have met many BS who are haunted and tormented by the humiliation that comes from the fact that others knew before them and didn't tell them. So many BS are tortured by choices they made in their relationship and life that they would have done differently had they known. Give this man the agency to live his life with all the relevant facts. The OBS in my scenario has thanked me on a number of occasions for telling him. The longer you leave this, the longer the AP has to gaslight her husband so that he wont believe you when he finds out.

Secondly, I'm 4.5 years out and happily reconciled. That said, my husband and his former AP still work for the same company. This is extremely unusual here as any continued contact between an AP and a WS is absolutely antithetical to R. In our scenario, the only reason that this sort-of works is that OBS was in the loop. OBS and AP also wanted to (and did) R and so they were committed to minimizing contact as well. My H and COW work in different departments and on different floors. They rarely see one another (i am notified when they do), typically have no reason to communicate (I am copied on any emails), and due to a one-year maternity leave (on her part) and WFH due to covid there has been lots of extended stretches where there has been zero possibility of contact. My husband opts out of any office social events where there is a chance she will be there. All of this said, I hate that she is still in our orbit and wish she was gone. It made the first year of R torturous for me and sent me into a panic almost every time he left for the office. Even now, the fact that they still work for the same company is the #1 ongoing problem for us. This, despite the fact that my husband was always willing to leave his job and continues to be willing to leave if I change my mind about things. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that if there is any way to not do what I did I would absolutely recommend that. That goes doubly for your scenario where your WH and his AP actually loved one another and have a history which will make no-contact more difficult for them. My WH and his AP never loved one another and their A was comparatively short-lived.

I wish you nothing but the best, whatever it is that you choose.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 5 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Currently 4 years (and two kids) into R and optimistic.

posts: 634   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8688645
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scaredwoman ( member #78680) posted at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

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.

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you're waiting to see. You spent so many years wishing and hoping and praying for something that was not there. You deserve so much more.

posts: 172   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2021
id 8688644
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samiamsad ( member #56563) posted at 5:40 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Ugh, I am so sorry that you're here. LTAs are really a special kind of hell.

I think you have some good advice here. Please find yourself an individual counselor that can help you sort through your feelings! You're still in shock and eventually you will need to start sorting through all of this. Having a professional on your side will be invaluable.

Contact the other betrayed spouse as soon as possible. It's time to blow up their world, too. If nothing else, because it will (hopefully) prevent the affair from moving underground. (In my case, the OBS refused to believe me, stuck his head in the sand and called me a liar but I really believe my situation was the exception.)

Throw out that 2-5 year timeline. It's just not realistic. Not for a 9 year affair. My WH had a 4.5 year affair that was a double betrayal, and while I'm mostly healed at this point (almost 5 years from DD) I was nowhere near healed at 2. So just expect that if you plan to stay together it's going to take a significant amount of time to heal.

Hang in there.

me: bs
4.5 year LTA and double betrayal
2 young kids, married 10 years, together 19
DDAY - 12/24/16

posts: 54   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2016
id 8688715
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 6:20 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Full disclosure- I’ve not read all the replies, as I’m on my phone and the new SI interface does not work for me when on my phone

My WH had a 10+Yr EA followed by a 10 yr PA
I get it
IME, there aren’t a lot of LTA folks on SI, and that can feel (for me) kind of lonely

Personally, I still believe it’s POSSIBLE to R after a LTA …. And I also believe it’s less likely.

It can take a LONG time to come to terms with / accept the years of deceit, the ways our WS felt comfortable living a secret sexual life, our own shame for not seeing it, etc. IOW, there is a frigging TON of work to heal and get to any semblance of feeling like ourselves again (or at least it has for me)

Yet, the steps / advice is still pretty much the same
- get the std tests
- KNOW (like in your bones know) your WS is not the person you thought, is a COMFORTABLE liar, and may take years to change / become a safe partner
- see an attorney and know your rights, whether you want to R or not
- do NOT commit to jack shit unless/until you feel 1000% (and objectively) your WS has the strength and courage and stamina and emotional wherewithal and whatever else to truly change and a primal/cellular level. This work is NOT for the faint hearted. It’s TOUGH and takes time and a shit ton of fortitude. My WH does not have it. He can move mountains intellectually, but when it comes to emotion, he makes the lion from "Wizard of Oz" look like Schwarzenegger’s terminator. Took me 2yrs to figure that out.

- I believe the best thing for a BS dealing with a LTA is to IMMEDIATELY figure out how to emotionally detach (this also took me 2+ yrs, and only after a 6month S). Some say that detaching can impede R- but I dunno if those folks have dealt with long LTAs or if they were blessed with WS who "get it" quickly. IME, hanging on to the image I had of my WH and trying to "make new memories", etc worked very much to my detriment and significantly impeded MY healing, which should have been MY priority from day 1.
Detaching, trying to see WS w/o the rose colored glasses, putting ALL the energy into myself and my healing and envisioning a happy, healthy, productive life w/o my WH were the things that helped me through the trauma. If the WS manages to figure out how to heal themself, atone, find empathy, support the BS, etc… then great - you can consider R. And if not, the BS us already on a good path to healing, recovery, and their next chapter (and make no mistake, whether or not your M survives, you WILL be embarking on a new chapter that may very well look nothing like anything you’d ever envisioned)

I can’t take much SI on my phone anymore… I’m so so so so so sorry you are a BS. It’s sucks. And, believe it or not, if YOU truly commit to the hard work of healing, you WILL survive this, you will learn a ton about yourself, your values, compassion, trust, and a TON of other stuff that can serve you splendidly for the rest of your years - whether in this M or not

Godspeed

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3428   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8688717
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 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 9:42 AM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

I am really grateful to everyone for your thoughts. It helps to have someone in your corner, even if only strangers online. It is my decision not to tell my friends and family about the affair at the moment, to be alone in this situation, but I miss the possibility to talk to someone, to cry, to vent to anyone but my husband and I need any support I can get. Anyway, you probably understand me better than anyone who hasn't been through this type of betrayal and as far as I know, no one in my circle of friends and family has.

Babette2008, your story is so much like my own and I hope we can come to the place you are now. 4 years seem like a long time and I am not sure I can live like this for so long, but I am willing to try and I hope things will at least start getting better.

Our marriage had been good and we were compatible. I don’t understand why people stay with cheaters that they don’t really like. But I also earn enough and have enough support that I am not reliant on my husband financially. I had the resources to leave. This is actually freeing because you can decide if the marriage is actually good.

I feel the same. We were always so good together. I love him and I like who he was before all this and I really hope, he can be that person again. I am not staying because of the finances, like you I earn enough to be on my own and I am also not staying because of the children. I believe they are old enough to survive our divorce with minimum damage, especially if we both have their best interests in mind. And I believe, if it came to that, we would. I am staying because I believe what we had was special and I want to try to get it back. I know it is in conflict with his actions, but I always thought we had a special bond. We are together since high school, he was my first real love, and I his. The fact that he is still my only love and I am not the only one for him is killing me and I don't know if I can get past that, but I feel I have to try. For my sake, for the relationship I believe we can rebuild. I know how this sounds and if any of my friends were going through the same thing, I would probably advise to stop living in the past and to see the cheater for who he really is. I always believed cheating was a deal breaker in a relationship, but I just can't take that advice now and I want to try one more time to get us back. I may be sorry for additional time lost, but I have to try.

Please tell the other BETRAYED spouse immediately. Sooner than immediately.

I am beginning to see that this is the only option. For his sake, but also for my own. And I know, I would be grateful to him, if he told me if the situation was reversed. Hurting her in the process and her perfect picture of herself will be a bonus.

Zeta, I came here this morning thinking I might post some thoughts on the 4th anniversary of my first DDay, but I saw your post and have so much empathy for you, and a lot to say. My husband's affair was also 9 years, a quarter of our marriage, and I was completely blindsided.

Whatisloveanyway, I cried reading your story. It is so much like mine and you gave me an insight into what lies ahead, if I choose to stay with my husband. I got the whole story (hopefully) soon after D-day, and I made clear, more lies from him will not be tolerated. I hope I can stick to that in case something new comes up, but for now, the new things in the past two months were only details of the affair and no lies. But one can never know. He was capable of lying to 9 years and he is capable now, I can only hope he chooses not to.

Second, you need to deal with MOW for your own sanity.

I really want to. I have this conversations with her in my head, where I tell her everything I think of her, of their relationship, of how naïve she was as well. I want to hurt her as much as possible, even though I know I can never hurt her as much as they hurt me. I don't think she could love anyone like I love him, but still, she wanted to believe they had this great love story and I want to shatter this image. I want her to know she was always the second choice, when she believed she was the first. She actually demanded he is not intimate with me, after they hooked up. She complained about the long vacations he took with our family, even about him kissing and holding me to congratulate me for my birthday. I still can't believe someone hooking up with a married man and then expecting him to be completely hers, and she is married at the same time. She is so selfish, it was not enough for her to be involved with a married man, she wanted everything. If he did everything she expected from him, we would not be married now and I think this was her intention. He told her on some occasions, he will never leave me and our family and this was her way to try to get me to leave him. I hate her so much. It doesn't mean I am not angry with my husband, I am and I know he is the most at fault, but if I want to stay with him, I can't hate him. I can hate what he did and the person he was, but I have to believe, he is not that person any more. I can hate her all I want though smile .

Third, pay the most attention to what your husband does, not what he says. The contradictions are endless. Much of my confusion stems from the loving, caring, cuddly fun person I spent all those cheating years with, because he looks and sounds the same as the one I live with now. I get very confused looking into the loving eyes that say they are sorry and that he is mine and mine alone now, because they look the same as the liar's eyes. Your perception of your husband as a man and a person will be tested, and reshaped.

I can relate here too. Part of the reason I let him deceive me for so long, is that even with all the evidence, I couldn't and didn't want to believe, he was capable of such betrayal. The boy if fell in love with, the man I loved for the better part of my life, was not the person who could act like that. So I let the gaslighting to continue for 9 years. Even now, when I know the truth, sometimes I have hard time believing it really happened. And other times I ask myself, was I always blind, was he always this cruel selfish being, who cared only about himself and what he wants and doesn't care who gets hurt along the way. I wonder if he ever really loved me as much as I love him, if he is even capable of loving me the same way. Then I remember our time together. Before the affair, but also during. We had some problems in our early days, mainly because of my low self-esteem, but he was always there for me. Even when things were tough, when I sometimes made his life hell, he was there for me. I don't think he would stick with me then, if he didn't love me. I wouldn't put up with things I did, for the person I don't really love. And he was always this "loving, caring, cuddly fun person", like you say. For our relationship to work I have to believe, he was a good person before and the he can be that same person again. I hate who he was in between and I really hope that person is gone.

Fourth, know this is a very long journey for you, and for you both. It took me over a year to realize how confused and stressed he was, and how high his BP had gotten from dealing with the fallout. I had my own journey to empathy of sorts with him. There is nothing that they can say or do to erase the shock of betrayal or the feelings of humiliation at being fooled and disrespected by someone you love for so long. You will need to work day to day to get through this. You will have many days where you question your decision to stay, and you will wonder if you will ever wake up happy again, and not remember this heartache every moment. You need to take stock of how much you love him and your life together and how badly you want to try and keep it in whatever form it takes as you heal and rebuild. We decided early on we would be miserable apart, might as well be miserable together. (These words said mid-fight, but true) But you need to be prepared for the 3-5 year thing being a short estimate for us VLTA survivors trying to reconcile.

From very early after D-day, I know I want to try to rebuild our relationship. I love him and I believe we can be happy again, but the timeline scares me. Can I live like this for years, before I finally find peace with what happened? I like what you said, that "the highs and lows seem to be leveling off a bit" after enough time passes, but can I survive years of rollercoaster? I would be miserable without him, but probably not for so so many years. And even if miserable with him I can stand, can I survive if he strays again? This is actually what worries me most. I hate myself for letting him deceive me for so long, and I did let him. If I gave him the ultimatum the first time I had evidence something was going on, if I stood up for myself and didn't let him convince me with his lies, I would spare myself a lot of years of torture. How can I live with myself if it happens again? I told him all that and I really hope he gets what continuing with the affair would to to me. But then again, I told him something similar during the affair and it didn't do any good.

Fifth, please calmly and explicitly ensure your WH knows and agrees to the rules you set for your marriage. Make him understand there is no more grace to be given, no more chances. My WH knows I have resolved to accept no more disrespect, no more lies, no more secrets, no more unexpressed frustrations or resentments and no more attitude in dealing with the fallout from his bad choices. The biggest change is that I know my worth and I will not accept less than that now.

I did that soon after D-day, and I haven't shifted the line since. Any more lies, even small ones, meant to protect me and I am out. I have to find a way to trust him again and this is the only way. I hope I can stick to it, if/when it becomes necessary. Regarding his attitude towards me, I didn't have to make any rules. It was, since D-day, the perfect example of what it should be. He never blamed me for anything, took all the responsibility, he is caring, understanding of my emotions with the whole affair. I hope he stays this way, any resentment or frustration about how I feel on his part would negatively impact our reconciliation.

Keep reading here, keep talking to those who support you and can help you.

I will stay here, I find it helps to be writing about us. I don't have support of my friends and family, because they don't know. It is my own choice to keep everyone out of it, but I miss it anyway.

Ummm,NO. It's not up to you to tell him what to do, he should decide on his own to find another job and start looking right now. He's set it up for you to take the initiative here. He's not doing anything but reacting to you, he should be taking the responsibility for the mess he created. If he asks again whether he should find another job, tell him truthfully that building trust is not about his "comforting" you, it's about his taking any and all necessary action to change course completely.[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]He can get two jobs or a side job to his new one.

I know where you are coming from and agree it should be his decision, but I actually told him to look for options, but to wait with the final decision, until I see how I can cope with them working in the same building. I know I might be digging my own grave with this, but I know he loves his job and I don't want to take it from him. If I decide in a few months, that I can't be with him anymore, I don't want him to be unhappy at his job also. And if we stay together, I want him to love what he does for living for the next 20 years and not to struggle doing things he hates. He says he will change jobs if necessary and I believe he will do it on his own, if he sees me struggling, but I think in the end it wouldn't be good for us, for our relationship. As for getting two jobs so we can keep up with our loans, it is not an option for me. It would mean he would spend much less time with us, we would only be together in the evenings any maybe weekends which in this situation and with the lack of trust is not something I want.

Secondly, I'm 4.5 years out and happily reconciled. That said, my husband and his former AP still work for the same company. This is extremely unusual here as any continued contact between an AP and a WS is absolutely antithetical to R.

Emergent8, I am happy to see, from your story and from Babette, that is is possible to reconcile even if the WH and AP still work at the same place. I know everyone is different and it may not work out for us, but just seeing happy outcomes, gives me hope. I hate that she is always around, but will try to live with it and I have to find a way to trust him that this part of his life is done. If it is not, it doesn't matter if they work together, they can continue with the affair even if he changes jobs.

Throw out that 2-5 year timeline. It's just not realistic. Not for a 9 year affair. My WH had a 4.5 year affair that was a double betrayal, and while I'm mostly healed at this point (almost 5 years from DD) I was nowhere near healed at 2. So just expect that if you plan to stay together it's going to take a significant amount of time to heal.

I am starting to realize that and it scares me. But, I am willing to try and if it is too much to bear, I always have other options.

I believe the best thing for a BS dealing with a LTA is to IMMEDIATELY figure out how to emotionally detach (this also took me 2+ yrs, and only after a 6month S). Some say that detaching can impede R- but I dunno if those folks have dealt with long LTAs or if they were blessed with WS who "get it" quickly. IME, hanging on to the image I had of my WH and trying to "make new memories", etc worked very much to my detriment and significantly impeded MY healing, which should have been MY priority from day 1.

Detaching, trying to see WS w/o the rose colored glasses, putting ALL the energy into myself and my healing and envisioning a happy, healthy, productive life w/o my WH were the things that helped me through the trauma. If the WS manages to figure out how to heal themself, atone, find empathy, support the BS, etc… then great - you can consider R. And if not, the BS us already on a good path to healing, recovery, and their next chapter (and make no mistake, whether or not your M survives, you WILL be embarking on a new chapter that may very well look nothing like anything you’d ever envisioned)

gmc94, I am sorry for everything you went through. I read some of your other posts, over at LTA thread and I really wish you all the best. I don't know if I am able to emotionally detach and even if I want to. I want to have back what we had before the affair, and it won't work if we don't love each other the same way. But I also see your point. I have to know the real him in order to go on. I have to know who I am staying married to. So I will have to think about this. How do you detach yourself anyway?

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...

I did and hopefully I am getting it today. I know a lot about the affair, what happened and how and an approximate timeline, but not all the details. It took him some time to realize I really need this to move on. He said before, he gave me all the relevant information, but the details on exactly which hotel and how many times, etc. would only hurt me. He had the same feelings about showing me his burner phone with their texts, but did it eventually and he saw while it really hurt me, it also helped in a way and gave me some peace, because it confirmed everything he said from D-day on.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 11:11 AM, Thursday, September 16th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8688721
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solo ( member #57709) posted at 1:36 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

As someone who’s story matches yours almost word for word, I can empathize greatly with what you are going through. Pretty much everything I’d say has been said by others. I’ll just repeat the one thing that’s most important here in my opinion:

Please, for the love of god, tell her husband. I’m positive that the bastard’s wife knew long before I did. It would have saved me so much pain and devastation if she’d done the right thing and told me. I have all her contact information, and have tried multiple times to get in touch with her. I’ve sent emails to three addresses I know she has, sent texts, and left voicemails. Enough times and methods to know she had to have gotten them. She’s never answered or responded in any way, and even now it would help me immensely to know what she knows.

I promise you, nothing is worse than not knowing. I beg you to tell him. I’ll even do it for you if you don’t want to. It’s important, and it’s wrong to let him be in the dark on this.

posts: 206   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2017
id 8688739
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:50 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

I wanted to again strongly encourage you to tell the other betrayed spouse and NOT to tell your husband you will do it. They still work together, he had a burner phone and could have another, and you have zero reason to believe the affair has ended since contact has not ended. He is very very very very very good at lying to you. He didn't just lose that skill overnight.

He stole 9 years of your life with lies and here you are worried that if you make him quit his job, he won't like the next one as much. It is time for you to absolutely NOT CARE about his feelings and take care of you. That means bringing this all out in the open, addressing what you need with absolutely no regard for his needs at this time and letting the other betrayed spouse know, since that is likely the only way the affair really ends.

He lied to you for 9 years. The very least he could do is accept the consequences of his choices and not making you be the bad guy that makes him do it.

posts: 133   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8688752
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Belle25 ( new member #63676) posted at 6:05 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

I'm so sorry you're here. You sound like a genuinely sweet and trusting person.

To be gently honest, I believe you are very high risk for him relapsing on this affair. He has had no real consequences, other than seeing your pain. No family or friends no to help keep him accountable and make him feel ashamed of his actions. You don't want to leave him. The other woman's husband does not know. He sees her every single day; even if they are not interacting now, I believe that the temptation to begin small talk again in the office will happen, and it will snowball again from there. I don't think him keeping his job is a viable option.

They were together long enough that they had a full fledged relationship, and he will miss her. Right now he is in panic mode and trying to keep you, but in six months, or 12 months, when your reaction has died down and his guilt has simmered off, he will start to notice the voids she left. It sounds like he already knew you were onto him for quite some time, and he didn't stop.

I'm not telling you to leave him; that's up to you. But I just wanted to say that regardless of which way you go, I do not believe he is done with her. He may for now, but probably not for good. Keep your wits about you. Honestly, you're going to have to play marriage police for a long time with this one, and you'll have to decide if that's how you want to live.

I wish you luck and peace.

posts: 33   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2018
id 8688791
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:20 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Zeta honey it's time for you to step up and demand a few things from him. If you want a chance at R you need to take over the drivers seat, and let him know that you are no longer going to allow him to do whatever he wants when he wants.

1. STD testing. Full on. Blood and physical exam and you get to see the Dr's report. Demand he wear condoms until this is done.

2. Demand he get into therapy NOW. He is broken, and has issues he didn't do this just for fun. He is broken. He needs to put in a good faith effort to fix it. Like or dislike therapy it can be helpful to force him to self reflect on this.

3. Find a new job. PERIOD. I don't give a shit and you shouldn't either that he loves his job, of course he does his girlfriend of 9 years is there. He needs to break away from her cleanly.

Find a few other things that are your absolutes to move forward, and have a few drop dead dates for the therapy and job. Otherwise it will only be delayed on and on.

ACTIONS matter, words do not.

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.

posts: 18970   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8688794
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 11:21 PM on Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Zeta -

had a chance to read the thread on my laptop. There are some solid posts on this thread from other BS, and those from NotinMyLife and WhatisLoveAnyway resonated for me. And, I gotta send a(nother) shout out to TushNurse. She has been a solid voice of reason from my 1st post on SI (even those times it took me awhile to really "hear" and understand what she was telling me blush ). IMO, a lot of Tush's perspective is really about learning to love yourself enough to not take any crap - especially from a cheater. Either the WS digs in DEEP and does some real and solid work to CHANGE (and after a VLTA, it's a bigger mountain IMO), or he doesn't. No matter what he does, YOU are the one that decides for YOU. It took me a LONG (well over a year and closer to two) time to get that thru my thick noggin. It really comes down to what are YOU willing to put up with?

Unfortunately, right now it sounds like a lot. IMO, too much.

I do NOT want to pathologize you. You are a stranger through a keyboard. You have been traumatized. AND, one of the ways a relational betrayal trauma can manifest is in some codependent patterns/ways of relating. I am NOT saying "you are CoD", so please please keep that in mind. I am saying that, at least IME, the path through that is the same whether you had any CoD tendencies before dday or if they have only manifested in the wake of dday / are a trauma response. It's something to consider exploring - and something I'd try to explore with a good IC (and FWIW, I'm a fan of finding someone with recent and solid trauma training & experience - you can educate yourself [and maybe your IC] about any nuances from this particular form of trauma [ie relational betrayal trauma], while reaping the benefits of addressing the trauma and how to cope and heal from it... and while I'm on this point, I wholeheartedly agree that with a VLTA, you are looking more at the 5yrs than the 2yr guideposts... I'm almost 4 years from my dday and there is both major progress and some big hurdles ahead).

There is a great two-part interview of a therapist named Marnie Breecker on Duane Osterlind's 'The Addicted Mind' podcast. I HIGHLY recommend it - it was a real gamechanger for me to hear someone describe all the range of emotions I was feeling, to know I was not alone or some freak bc of it, and to help guide some of my thinking on my own behalf and not that of my WS. You may want to share it with your WS - or not. I had to learn the hard way that if I was "sharing" my healing stuff with my WH, I needed to be pretty clear & sober about my own motives... IOW, I think a lot of that sharing stemmed from some silly belief that "if I could just"... find the right book or IC or podcast or whatever, then my WH would "get it" and begin to change. I was very very very wrong on this front and echo others who say that your WH needs to man the F up and start getting his act together - pronto. He had plenty of time and energy and intellect to figure out how to have a LTA for nearly a decade, to lie, to deceive, to hide, etc. He can figure out how to clean up the frigging mess he made and to clean up his own act. It's like an alcoholic or addict - they have to do the work themselves and the more we coddle that or rationalize their effed up ways of behaving, not only are we not helping ourselves, we are not helping them either (and there's a great interview with an IC named Stan Tatkow on the Helping Couples Heal podcast, which I also HIGHLY recommend, and I posted about it here on SI about 6-8 months ago, but Tatkow basically says the more the BS can create solid boundaries and be ready to walk out if they are not respected, the better the chances of R).

Gotta agree with everyone - you MUST tell the OBS and do it asap. Read Chaos' posts about how not doing that immediately can result.

I also think it's super important to try to take off the rose-colored glasses WRT your WH. He had a burner phone. He lied for a VERY long time and felt absolutely COMFORTABLE living a double / secret sexual life. That is NOT ok. That is NOT the sign of a healthy human being. As tush says, he is BROKEN and in some very profound ways. His words should be meaningless to you at this juncture. His actions are the ONLY thing to watch. And by action, I do not mean his "acts of service" toward you. Him doing the dishes or bringing you flowers or paying a ton of attention to you may feel awesome... but it is NOT real change. It's basically substituting one "high" (of the A) for another (of being the "good" guy that is focusing on his BS). He needs some SERIOUS counseling and pronto. No matter how many dishes or how many "I love you and you are the only one I want" or how many times he cleans the toilet or how much fancy jewelry or whatever he brings, that is all window dressing (or curtains in a house on fire). It's superficial and it does not - not by the longest of long shots - make him a safe partner.

Action that shows empathy and understanding and ownership of his choices are things like getting a new job w/o you having to demand it. It means getting himself in with a good IC immediately (and not keeping what's happening for him and the things he's learning and trying to change some secret thing), also w/o you demanding it. It means a written timeline with any and all details YOU want - without bickering, arguing, playing semantic games (eg I did not have sex with that woman), blameshifting, or any other crap. Whether a WS is an SA or not, the "high" of an A manifests like a drug. At 9 years, he is addicted to that high (whether it's the secrets, the sex, the limerance, the emotional components or something else - he did it bc he LIKED it and didn't give a damn what the consequences... THAT is the man to whom you are M today. Whether he can change into someone that would not like it and would give a damn about the consequences remains to be seen... by his ACTIONS).

As to emotional detachment? I guess for me I knew it when I realized I could D tomorrow and be Ok emotionally. It meant that I cared about MYSELF more than about my WH or my M. It meant that I was not doing his emotional homework for him, but doing my own emotional work for myself. It was about learning to love myself in ways I had not. Early on, I got a lot of "advice" about "making new memories" and doing things together and strengthening our bond, etc. For me, that was utter hogwash and really made my journey more difficult. Put frankly, a newly discovered WS is not a BS' "friend" or "partner". They are like aliens in the body of the person we thought we knew (and have to come to terms with the fact we really did not). It so happens I have a child who is an addict/alcoholic, so as hard as that is, going to Al-Anon and learning how to lovingly detach may have been the single most helpful advice when I used those same strategies with my WH (a 6-month S helped too). His feelings and discomfort are HIS problem - not mine. He can choose to change or not - I can't make him do jack. I only control me and as part of that I control the levels of disrespect I'm willing to tolerate (just like my child - I can't make them stop drinking, but I can set boundaries that include not allowing my kid to be in my home when they have been drinking or using drugs... it's about ME and what I'm willing to put up with. Doesn't mean I don't love my kid. Doesn't mean I won't support my kid. DOES mean I am not going to let my kids' addiction -or my WH's emotional voids - get in the way of the things I want to do... the life I want to live).

After all that, start with the baby step of telling the OBS and NOT saying jack to your WH about it. I think Chaos' go to is "hello, my name is chaos, and your wife had a PA with my husband from date 1 to date 2, and I thought you should know." and provide any hard evidence (like emails or texts) to show you aren't making things up. If you can track down a work phone or email, that is far better, as the AP may intercept (we hear about that crap all the time on SI).

Ok - this has become a book. Feel free to PM anytime.


ETA: Turns out there's a thread in Reconciliation called something like "telling the OBS" that Chaos posted on this AM with her story about not telling, and how she told. Check it out.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:29 PM, Thursday, September 16th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3428   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8688864
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Aletheia ( member #79172) posted at 3:24 AM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

Zeta - I hope that your husband recognizes how blessed he is to have you, but I know he doesn’t.

Zeta I’m afraid you’re taking the same approach you have for the past 9 years and expecting it to somehow this time be different & successful. You knew your husband was cheating on you, but you put blind faith into him, and thought with time, he’d realize how wrong it was and do right by you. That wasn’t the case then, and it won’t be the case now. And I also fear when he ‘relapses’ (for lack of a better word), you’ll blame yourself & be even more destroyed & may hardly recover.

You know on an intellectual level that you cant instantly sever the feelings you’ve had for someone over 9 years. Your husband cheated on you for half your marriage, did your feelings for him dissipate straightaway upon definitive proof of his betrayal? It’s simply not possible. He did nothing over the past 9 years to disassociate from her and he’s doing nothing now. You simply cannot expect change when there’s been no change.

Frankly, he may just be waiting for everything to blow over & then you turn a blind eye to another decade of their relationship 😬

And please please tell OBS forthwith.

He stole 9 years of your life with lies and here you are worried that if you make him quit his job, he won't like the next one as much.

Right! As I said, it’s currently a hiring frenzy, he can find another job, even if it’s as a clerk at the corner store, no shame in that. But there is shame in continuing to work with his ex-mistress.

To be gently honest, I believe you are very high risk for him relapsing on this affair. He has had no real consequences, other than seeing your pain. No family or friends no to help keep him accountable and make him feel ashamed of his actions. You don't want to leave him. The other woman's husband does not know. He sees her every single day; even if they are not interacting now, I believe that the temptation to begin small talk again in the office will happen, and it will snowball again from there. I don't think him keeping his job is a viable option.

They were together long enough that they had a full fledged relationship, and he will miss her. Right now he is in panic mode and trying to keep you, but in six months, or 12 months, when your reaction has died down and his guilt has simmered off, he will start to notice the voids she left. It sounds like he already knew you were onto him for quite some time, and he didn't stop.

I'm not telling you to leave him; that's up to you. But I just wanted to say that regardless of which way you go, I do not believe he is done with her. He may for now, but probably not for good. Keep your wits about you. Honestly, you're going to have to play marriage police for a long time with this one, and you'll have to decide if that's how you want to live.


It was worth copying & requoting.

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.

posts: 210   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Everywhere & nowhere
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 6:09 AM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

Emergent8, I am happy to see, from your story and from Babette, that is is possible to reconcile even if the WH and AP still work at the same place. I know everyone is different and it may not work out for us, but just seeing happy outcomes, gives me hope.

This is exactly the opposite of what I was trying to achieve by sharing this part of my story. For reasons that I wont get into here, leaving his job was not a viable option for us at the time D-day struck. I know leaving your job is hardly ever convenient but as someone who has been through it, I am yelling from the rooftops that he needs to work somewhere where his GIRLFRIEND OF NINE YEARS isn't. You mention they would see each other daily. Can you imagine seeing a boyfriend of 9 years daily and being able to move past it? I can't. As it was, my spouse saw his former AP maybe once every month or two and it absolutely killed me inside.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 5 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Currently 4 years (and two kids) into R and optimistic.

posts: 634   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8688912
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:39 AM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

Z - I think there are some very valid concerns posted here. So many wise Betrayed spouses here.

My H had a 4 year EA. Before cell phones and all that. In his mind no sex = no affair. I knew it was happening but he denied it. It finally ended snd was never mentioned again.

Fast forward 15 years later and he’s now having another EA turned physical affair except this time he wants a D.

For six months I lived through hell with him demanding a D and then changing his mind. I had to resort to calling the OW only to learn while I thought we were reconciling he was still cheating. And that he admitted to her about the 4 year EA decades earlier.

The only thing I can say is I snapped. I finally had enough.

Mistakes I made:

Believing his words
Not putting more importance on his actions (which contradicted his words)
Not standing up to him and being a doormat
Allowing him to rug sweep the first EA
Making excuses for him

Don’t be me. Had I known about SI during his last affair I would not have done the "pick me dance." You know believing him when he told me he cheated b/c I wasn’t a good wife and listing all my faults. Telling me "I never loved him" as a bullshit reason to cheat.

I can see you are not asserting yourself. Allowing him to continue to work with the OW is a big mistake. I know in theory the OW is nothing special and he could already be on to a new OW. You want him to be "happy in his career and job" — well he gave up that option by cheating with a co-worker.

You also should tell the OW’s spouse. It’s the morally right thing to do.

I can tell you that these stories about HS sweethearts are all too common. My H was one of them. I met him at 19 and was his second girlfriend. So yes mid life crisis affair applies to him b/c as he became successful more women noticed him. And he felt he "missed out".

Again please listen to the great advice you have received here from everyone. You are still putting him first and not yourself. And that is a mistake.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10686   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
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