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Is reconciliation possible after really long term affair?


greenirisheyes ( member #7983) posted at 10:01 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

Zeta, I am heartbroken for you. I don't generally respond much anymore,or even read here much anymore, but your situation just spoke to me, so I wanted to share my experience with you. My husband had a two year affair back in 2001 & 2002. It took me two years to catch him, which I felt I had to do because he was 'such a great guy', I was afraid my children would not believe me if I did not catch him red-handed. I also knew he would lie to them if confronted about it. Those two years were hell. I did not realize the depth of my hell until I was out of it and looked back on it, which I suspect is one of the reasons you are doing as well as you think you are now. Finally knowing for sure is such a relief, an affirmation that you are not 'crazy', if you will, that you are feeling somewhat at peace with that aspect it.

But, NINE YEARS! That is such a long time, it is hard to wrap my head around. One of the comforts those of us who have spouses involved in long-term affairs can not tell ourselves, is that the other person meant nothing. Because, of course they did. Our spouses were in a long-term relationship with another woman. They were living a double life, compartmentalizing their life with us, and then their life with them. Our spouses knew about their kids, their names, what recreational sports the kids participated in, when their kids got sick, what was going on in the other woman's work life, with her friends. In other words, a full blown relationship.

As another poster mentioned, he should immediately leave his current employment that he shares with her, and he should do it of his own volition, no prompting from you. Take a step back and watch his choices and actions very carefully. Your financial situation is irrelevant. He shit where he eats, so he must find someplace new to eat, immediately. Do not help him make the right choices. he knows he did wrong and what he needs to do to fix things with you. Watch, and see if he does them.

I had asked my husband repeatedly to go to marriage counseling with me and he refused. Yet, within a few days of me kicking him out of the house, he sought out counseling on his own, without any help from me. Even after he asked me to attend with him, and I refused, he kept going. That was huge for me.

I would definitely meet with a very good attorney and find out where you stand financially. Given the length of his affair, I would even consider going ahead with a divorce and tell him if he proves to you he's made the necessary changes he needs to make, you'll consider dating him after the divorce and possibly building a new relationship with him...a better one. This relationship is over, and thank God it is because it was based on lies and deceit. You need to move away from this current relationship ASAP.

My husband and I are still together and very happy. We've now been married 46 years and he is a much better husband to me now, then he was before his affair. I think it's because I did draw a line in the sand regarding his behavior. I kicked him out of the house and wouldn't let him come home for a year. I don't feel a need to check up on him, but occasionally my radar will start twitching and when it does, I address it with him. Some things are deal breakers for me and not open for discussion. For instance, we've both got the same iphone. He wanted to get an android. I said I wasn't comfortable with that, we must have the same phone. I want this because that way I am familiar with how the phone works in case I need to do any investigative sleuthing. I consider it a consequence of choices he has made and if I need that to be comfortable, then he needs to give me that. Non-negotiable.

During his affair, a couple that my husband was friendly with, who knew me, and knew about his affair, invited him and his affair partner over to their house for a New Year's Eve party. They went. When I found this out, I told my husband that they are longer friends of mine, or our marriage and I intended to never socialize with them ever again, and we haven't. They've since moved down South and have repeatedly asked us to visit them. It'll be a cold day in hell. They are not friends of our marriage. A consequence of the choices he made. Non-negotiable.

Set YOUR boundaries, whatever they are, and stick by them, even if it means you lose your marriage. Your self-respect is worth so much more than your feelings for a cheater. At one point, during marriage counseling, the counselor mentioned to me that my husband felt if he stepped off the line, even a little bit, I would leave him, and he struggled with that. I looked her squarely in the eye and said, "Good! Because if he does step over the line, even a little bit, I WILL leave him!" He has used up all his second chances with me. This is it. It either works or it doesn't. I didn't bring our relationship to this point, I just set my boundaries. He could take them or leave them. That was his choice.

If you do decide to reconcile, make him walk through fire and glass to earn his way back into your life. He needs to prove to you that he is a safe partner for you that you can trust. He (and you) also need to accept that you will never fully trust him (or anyone else) ever again. A consequence of his choice that you will carry with you forever, where ever. Take it slow and give him time to prove to you that he is worthy. If he can't, or won't, you have your answer, and you know what you have to do.

One other thing I learned from our whole infidelity shitshow was this: If they love you, they will move heaven and hell to prove it to you. If they don't, you can move heaven and hell, and it won't make one damn bit of difference. It really is that simple, and when you cut it down to the most common denominator, it isn't complicated at all.

Good luck to you. It's a tough road, but you will survive it.

Reconciled since 10/2002
Married 40 years - 2015!
We're better then ever, but I won't be sending the skank a thank you card.

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” ~André

posts: 397   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2005   ·   location: Mid-Atlantic Coast
id 8689093

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 11:59 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

I have to believe, he is not that person any more.

What work is he doing on himself to no longer be that person?

posts: 3733   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8689111

Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 11:59 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

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.

Do you really want to waste 3 years? That's just the minimum. Because you WILL find out stuff he has lied about, and it WILL set you back to 0.

I am staying because I believe what we had was special and I want to try to get it back.

He was romantically, physically, and emotionally attached to another woman for 9 years. Doesn't sound like he thought what you had was special.

I got the whole story (hopefully) soon after D-day,


and I made clear, more lies from him will not be tolerated.

I said the same thing. Yeah. Still here through other, smaller D-Days, because gosh, I stayed through the worst, how can I rationalize leaving because of subsequent (many) EA's??

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.

Sooo, what, the pod people took him, replaced him with a cheating asshole, then will give you back your "good" person, just because he got caught after 9 years of duplicity? Why do you suppose he became who he became - that person you hate(d)? Was there even a real reason, like a terrible trauma, brain injury, something?! What rational reason is there for a "good" person to suddenly be bad? (Hint, there isn't one.) "Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching." GOOD PEOPLE DON'T CHEAT. And good people don't suddenly go bad.

To be gently honest, I believe you are very high risk for him relapsing on this affair.

100% This.

These may seem like some nasty 2x4s, but I sure wish I'd listened to the ones I got from SIers 6+ years ago. I'd be in such a better place now. I have detached for the most part, taken responsibility for my own happiness (without him in it), but feel like I'm living half the life I could be if I'd just cut bait. Sharing space with someone you can never fully trust or share your heart with again is pretty fucking sad.

You're in shock, and worse, you're in denial about the person you thought you were married to. That good person is gone, baby gone.

Philosophy of good vs bad aside: No, he will not just be able to forget her, cut her out and move on. 9 YEARS of daily interactions, shared intimacies (physical and emotional), shared secrets. You will have more D-Days.

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

posts: 170   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8689112

 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 10:29 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

I am sorry I took some time from my last post, but the last days were hell and getting out of bed was the most I could do for the better part of it. Everyone here was right, what I had known at the time of my last posts was far from everything and he is not the reconciliation material I thought he was, but I am not sure I even care anymore. Any hope that we can come out of this together is almost gone. When I read my posts from two weeks ago, I can't believe, how naïve I was, even after I clearly should have known, he is not to be trusted.

We agreed he would give me a detailed timeline and I got one. A lot of details, times, places, he admitted some things he told me at D-day were lies, in particular the details of the physical part of the affair in the last months before D-day and having sex at our old apartment and some other stuff. It was hard hearing it, but if it was only that I might have lived with it. However, there were some inconsistencies in the story and talking about them didn't help, because I got the gaslighting feeling right away. I gave him until the end of the day to tell me the whole truth, or we were over. And I told him that I will use any means possible to verify everything he says, including polygraph, no matter the cost or the time it took. I don't think I was ever this mad in my life.

But I was not prepared for any of it. I can't go into details, I hurts too much, the short version is, the 9 year LTA was not the only one. He had 4 ONS in the first years of the LTA and another LTA for the past 5 years, so he was actually having two LTAs at the same time. I know he had problems getting physical with the first one, overcoming the belief that cheating is something you just don't do, but it seems after he did it with her, he got completely out of control. I just can't understand, how he could do what he did and still come home every day to me, to the kids, how he could live with himself.

It was PA only with the second one, no emotions there on his part and if it wasn't my husband she was involved with, I could almost be sorry for her. She is really young, 20 when they started, this was her first relationship and I don't think any woman deserves this to be her first. The first LTAP was kind of high maintenance and a lot in their relationship happened the way she wanted, and the second one was her opposite. Did what he said and when he said it. Not that he was abusive in any way, but obviously he was the one calling the shots. On the other hand, maybe this version was just meant for me to have sympathies for her so I wouldn't contact her or do anything drastic, maybe it wasn't the case of him using her for his needs. But if things were really as he said, I see him in a completely different light right now.

And he had sex with first LTAP twice after D-day before completely ending it with her. His explanation is that he was in a really bad place, it was a day after D-day and when after he called her to end it, she came across town to his office (his second job) and tried to comfort him, it just happened. Right, and why did you even let her in your office in the first place, when you promised to cut all contacts with her? And then it happened again three days later and after that he told her they can't go on like this any more and cut her off. Sexually, I mean, he was still talking to her, because he felt bad for her, for how he ended it and felt he owed her an explanation. Apparently he was not feeling bad for me. I think this one is the worst. At the worst moments in my life, when all he should focus on was my wellbeing, he was having sex with her to make himself feel better and talking to her to make her feel better. And of course lying to me about both. He says it took him a few days to process, but after the initial frenzy, he can see clearly now and he is sure of what he wants and it is not her. I don't know if I can buy that :(.

He now says I really know everything. Maybe I even believe it, since he told me stuff, I never could have found out, nothing to do with the inconsistencies in the timeline, but at this point I don't even care if it was just this, or 20 more women. I am completely numb, all my energy goes into functioning normally at least with the kids and at work. I am even so messed up, one of the first thoughts after he told me, was feeling "good" that he cheated on her too (the 9 year LTAP). She had problems with him being intimate with me, what would she think about the fact that for their entire relationship, he was also cheating on her. And I mean the entire time, he had the first ONS less than two months after they hooked up. I am actually thinking of telling her, just to see her get hurt.

And he had unprotected sex with both LTAPs. He had STD tests done and is negative, but I still have mine to take care of, I just couldn't do it in the past days.

Right now, I have no idea how to go on. I haven't contacted the OBS yet, I just couldn't bring myself to do anything, but I plan to. The second LTAP is single, so nothing to do there, except maybe confront her, I have to think about that. I sort of dealt with the first LTAP, put her in her place, but it was a small victory and after the initial good feelings dissipated, I felt even worse. She took so much from me, how can I feel good about something so minor? But I am happy I did it, in the last two weeks I finally stood up for myself, to him and to her. Small steps.

WH still wants to stay together. Still does "everything right", sometimes it feels like he is reading SI for directions :). He seems remorseful, takes all the blame, listens, apologizes all the time, is willing to share all his accounts/passwords, is always where he says he will be etc., but I don't trust a word out of his mouth. He signed for IC and is looking for options for job change. And says he finally understands, there should be absolutely no contact with her. I am just going with the flow. I am not capable of any major decision right now.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 1:54 PM, Thursday, September 30th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8691003

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:49 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

So suddenly your cheating husband wants to become Husband of the Year and you are supposed to jump for joy?

Hell no!!!😡

I don’t know if he intends to remain monogamous or not. He suddenly decides he doesn’t want a D. Well that should nit be his call. That is your decision to make.

I would demand a post nup. If he’s serious about the marriage he will sign it. I have one and it stated if we D for any reason my H is not entitled to my assets. Period.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10686   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8691006

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:22 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Yup he is extremely broken, and no matter what he says he wants, until he takes actions to fix his brokenness he will be an unsafe partner for you, and bad father.

YOU need to protect yourself and your kids.
YOU need to get an attorney and move forward with D. If he eventually takes action and starts to fix his shit then maybe you hit the pause button. But your H has essentially had 2 girlfriends, and multiple ONS, and I bet you there is still more that you don't know.

I don't mean to bring down the hammer on you, but I want you to understand that he is not going to change just because he wants to, and because he says he will. He now falls into the category of serial cheater, and the likelihood of repeat A's is pretty damn high.

Tap into your anger, start telling people in your life what is going on, you need the love and support. He isn't capable of being your safe person right now.

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 8691035

Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 2:31 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Zeta, I’m sorry you are here, but glad you found the site. You are getting a lot of good advice so I will keep this brief.

First, your WH slept with his AP after D-day because he is self-centered, as most WSs are. His IC should focus on this (among other things), but it will take months if not years to address. There is no reason for optimism in the near term. If you see signs of change over the long term, there may be reason for optimism.

Second, your WH is a serial cheater. This is a serious problem and demonstrates a pattern of behavior that does not bode well for him, you, or your M. Take care of yourself in the near term and watch his action instead of listening to his words.

Personally, I think the chances of successful R are slim in your circumstances, but I’m not in your shoes. Good luck to you whatever you choose.

posts: 752   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8691036

nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 4:05 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Zeta, there is a forum in "I Can Relate" for spouses of serial cheaters and sex addicts. It might be worth reading to see some other BSes dealing with this special kind of hell.

I too think that him taking advantage of a woman that young and with no experience is inherently predatory. Are you saying she was 20 when they started up or is she 20 now? How did he meet her? If this is a deal breaker for you, don't waste any time giving him more chances.

Don't believe anything he says right now. He was oh so remorseful when still cheating on you. Talking to OW is a continuation of the EA so he's been at it this whole time. Does he have evidence of his texts with her to prove that he really did cut her off? Would he send her a NC message in front of you and one to OW 2 too?

posts: 5011   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8691051

scaredwoman ( member #78680) posted at 4:06 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Wow, I'm so sorry.

He is a serial cheater and definitely needs a LOT of therapy to get through this.

You can still file for D and not follow through if you find that he is, in fact, remorseful and giving you what you need. However, I would imagine that this type of behavior is an addiction and it may take years for him to fully recover.

I would still pursue the poly if you don't think you know everything. Although, you know enough to decide how to move forward.

posts: 172   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2021
id 8691052

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:16 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Zeta, my heart is aching for you and I'd hug you if I could. I am so sorry your WH kept lying and kept having sex with the MOW, and even sorrier that you found out there were others. It is inconceivable to me how a spouse can get caught, claim to love you and want to be with you and save the marriage and continue to sneak and lie and cheat. It makes no sense. They don't know what they want and they drag us into the mud over and over, when letting us go would be the humane choice, but they go for the selfish one at our expense. Thank goodness you listened to that little voice that said things don't add up and kept pushing. I wish I had pushed so much harder. The difference between our stories is that you are finding out in relatively real time, while I had lags of six and seven months between discovering broken NC then the ugly truth that he would not stop seeing the MOW. Not for me, not for us. She cried and he hated to make her sad. My tears did not matter enough to him to put me or our marriage first. He swears the sex wasn't even that good, but he couldn't break off the relationship and has no explanation why. Had I learned in real time of the depth of his deceptions, I am pretty sure I would be single, living anywhere but with him. If I can offer any condolence, it is that you have been spared feeling as clueless and stupid as I have in retrospect, and don't have to ask what you might have done with more wasted years.

Your WH is still a selfish, stupid man who wants the comfort and illusion of the happily married couple, but needs to have sex with other women behind your back to feel like a man. He is a cold hearted liar and a pathetic immoral man. Now you know.

Maybe, like me, given enough time and distance, you might find a reason to rekindle a relationship with him. But based on how much he has hurt you, when he already saw your pain, I can guarantee that like mine, he was not thinking about you in his decisions, but himself. You are the collateral damage of his poor choices. I am sorry for your pain, and I know what these betrayals feel like. My WH was so enamored with his secret sex life and the candy store of the internet that he kept trying to find more sex buddies. I learned this detail over a year after discovery. I still suspect there is more I don't know, but he is done talking about that shitty phase in his life and I don't trust him to be a credible witness anyway. My therapist asked how much more could I need to know, what good would more information do for me, because I already know all that I need to know to make decisions moving forward.

Now is the time to reach out for help. Do not worry about who knows or what they might think. Put any shame or embarrassment you might feel aside, because you are a victim here. The shame is on your cheating WH. Tell the people you trust who love you and let them know what has happened so you can feel true love and support because you are going to need it. You have been handed betrayal and disrespect from the person you gave your heart to, and he is not worth you, your heart, your love or your time until he undergoes tremendous self reflection and change. He blew up your marriage, your life and his own. He should endure the consequences.

I know many people here are adamant about not contacting the OW, just the OBS, but I am not wired that way. I went after the MOW via email just to vent my pain and disgust and remind her how easily I could ruin her career. I just wanted her to feel like shit for a while too. She is as selfish and self absorbed as my WH and it was great for me to see what a pathetic person she was on so many levels. I am thrilled that she deleted all her social media accounts because she felt violated after I commented on the charade of her online life. I tried contacting his other Ashley Madison contacts, but none would respond to me to confirm whether he was lying that ne never met them in person. I got that lie about the first AP, so I wish one of them could have helped me confirm or deny his stories. I will admit that each contact with the MOW caused me great anxiety and pain, but I did manage to gather additional intel and insight into their "relationship" and call him on more lies, so it was worth it for that alone. Getting to tell her that she is a shitty homewrecker living a lie to all who know her was icing on my hate cake. Do what you want, and what works for you. This is your life and your shitty chapter in it and don't judge yourself or let anyone else judge you either. Feel all your feelings, let it all out and be selfish as hell now.

These will be sad, painful and confusing days for you, especially after the hopium he fed you at discovery. I wish I had more to offer you, just know there are many of us here willing to listen and help any way we can. Take care of yourself.

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 8691053

redwing6 ( member #72593) posted at 4:39 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Zeta, I have avoided commenting on this thread in a while because far wiser people than I have been trying to guide you...

That being said, my 1st wife was a serial cheater. She cheated on me with 10 or fifteen men during our 4 year marriage, as well as my then best friend. He cheated on her 2nd husband at least 30 times during their 10 year marriage (he was my best friend when he started fucking my then wife). I have to admit I got a great deal of satisfaction showing him the evidence of her infidelity. He was crushed. I laughed at him.

She's been married to her 3rd husband for 18 years. She has slowed down, only keeping 4 of her favorites on a string. She's still cheating today..

My point here is that a serial cheater never ever stops. Your WH isn't a good candidate for R right now. Maybe in 5 years after intensive IC, he MUGHT be a candidate for R. Just not right. I would strongly urge you to seek legal advice asap.

[This message edited by redwing6 at 4:39 PM, Thursday, September 30th]

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: 251   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2020   ·   location: Savannah, GA
id 8691057

Marz ( member #60895) posted at 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Well the one take away you should have learned is all cheaters lie a lot.

Read up on serial cheaters. So you have a good understanding.

Sorry you’re here. Being conflict avoidant will only make things worse for you.

posts: 6685   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8691061

HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 6:32 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

ZetaCephei - After reading your last post, I am certain he is still minimizing and lying. If you have already received a timeline, I don't even know what that looks like. Is he going to have a timeline for each one of the ladies that he cheated with. He has 2 long term affairs, claims that the one for 5 yrs had zero emotions. I mean, are you really going to think that a girl, doesnt matter that she was in her 20s was sticking around for 5 yrs with no emotions? She could go to any bar on any given night and gotten action from many many men, but nope, she going to just stick it out for 5 yrs with an old guy who (just for sex) was giving her nothing emotionally???

I'm sorry you are here, but 9 years, and after multiple women, he just after a couple of weeks realizes that he wants you? He has so much to unravel here, and I suggest that you don't commit to R with him at this point. Like you said, you have so much going through your mind, you cannot make a decision to R right now. I suggest that you make him work, through IC and everything else that you need to heal, before you even suggest to him that R is possible. 9 Fucken Years. YOu have been living a lie for 9 yrs. Remember that if he tries to force you to speed up your committment to him, and remind him that he took 9 yrs at the very least away, and you should have just as long.

posts: 1169   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8691071

Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 6:59 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

I'm sorry you're here but you have to realize your M has been a sham, your WH is an unremorseful SERIAL CHEATER, do not confuse "regret" for being caught with remorse.

I think this one is the worst. At the worst moments in my life, when all he should focus on was my wellbeing, he was having sex with her to make himself feel better and talking to her to make her feel better. And of course lying to me about both. He says it took him a few days to process, but after the initial frenzy, he can see clearly now and he is sure of what he wants and it is not her. I don't know if I can buy that :(.

Based on the fact he was STILL having sex with her after Dday tells you this would have continued for much longer, and that of course he's NOT remorseful, he was clearly STILL trying to "process", he was STILL willing to risk it all for her (them ?) at your expense, and that of course he STILL has feelings for her. Your still in shock and make no mistake about it, he will be pining for her/them for a very long time, we've seen this play out countless of times here on SI and other forums.

When it comes to LTAs and SERIAL cheaters I ALWAYS recommend D, in your case you're dealing with both, so of course I suggest you end this farce and have him served. But if you still insist on trying the daunting effort to try to R after such a huge betrayals and the THOUSANDS of lies you were fed all these years, here's a few of the basic steps which have stood the test of time, these steps will increase your odds but again, there are no guarantees, especially with LTAs and Serial Cheaters:

1) FULL EXPOSURE WITHOUT WARNING, your WH has not had any serious consequences if any at all for his huge betrayals. FULL EXPOSURE with both families, close friends and of course OBS are paramount, it has to be done with no warning and simultaneously for maximum impact. Exposure typically kills the "beautiful, exciting and romantic" aspects of an A and replaces them with pure shame and embarrassment, the more he hates the As, the less likely he is to cheat again, plus it's the right thing to do, OBS deserves to know and get tested for STDs (you should too). Full exposure also helps with remorse, no remorse, no chance to R successfully, also exposure brings much needed support from loved ones.

2)Demand he sends an NC FOREVER text to them in front of you, short and to the point and NO sweet goodbyes or last meet ups for "closure" aka one last f*ck. And don't take him at face value that the other AP was/is single, cheaters lie a lot and then some in order to protect their APs at the BS's expense.

3) One of them needs to quit the job, I as others cannot emphasize the importance of this, by telling OBS he may force her to quit, otherwise your WH needs to find another job immediately, if his job where his girlfriend works is more important than the M, well there's another nail in the proverbial coffin.

4) Consult an attorney to know your legal options, while you're at it, ask for a postnuptial agreement that's enforceable where you live (he doesn't touch your retirement, no alimony, child support, you keep the house and custody in your favor if possible). If he cheats again (very possible) at least then you would be more protected at least financially.

5) POLYGRAPH. Serial cheaters are notorious liars, find more about the ONSs and both LTAs, cheaters lie and minimize, there could be more APs, pregnancy scares, abortions, OCs, did he ever consider leaving you for any of them, etc., after so many years of multiple betrayals these questions should be answered, make sure he knows he will be subject to a polygraph and don't tell him when it would take place, you could even get the infamous "parking lot confession" right before the test (we've seen it many times here) but still go through with it.

6) He should write a detailed timeline of both LTAs and ONSs, including what happened on special days like anniversaries, birthdates, holidays, gift exchanges (they should be returned/donated/thrown away), any monetary gift should be paid back to you directly (make sure you have a separate bank account), then have him read them out loud to you.

7) He needs to go to IC to find out his "whys", find and IC who specializes on infidelity (very important), forget MC for now, they're notorious rug sweepers and at this point a waste of time and money.

These are just some of the basics, but if he refuses any of them simply file for D and end this farce, you deserve so much better than a proven serial cheater and liar who's been exposing your to STDs by playing russian roulette with your health and the stability of your children. Start with FULL EXPOSURE to OBS and close relatives TODAY without warning for maximum impact! there are countless of stories here where the BS came back later to regret not having exposed fast enough, some are still here and post often.

Keep posting frequently, the collective wisdom of SI could help you go through this difficult situation, every case is different but cheaters typically follow a similar script, we've seen in play out literally THOUSANDS of times here on SI and other forums.

posts: 2439   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8691075

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Do you know that saying turn on a dime? People don’t turn on a dime. He is what he is. You really need to accept that. He has no ability to remain true to any woman. The fact that he cheated on his cheater tells you that. I’m guessing that he has sex addiction in his diagnosis. You need to move on. Sometimes it’s just not worth it and I don’t think this man is.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 11:18 PM, Thursday, September 30th]

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2945   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8691083

SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 12:58 AM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Hi OP, sorry you find yourself in this mess.

WH still wants to stay together.

^ That of course should be well down on your list of reasons you stay in the marriage. He's been getting what he wants for the last 9 years.

9 years, mind blowing. In a way you've been in a polyamorous marriage. You're the first wife, he's had a 2nd and a 3rd wife.

Sorry OP to say this, your husband is disgusting. Unbelievably selfish, cruel to you, sneaky, manipulative, I could go on.

posts: 358   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8691110

emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 3:56 AM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Hi Zeta,

I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine you thought it could be any worse. What a terrible update, though I’m happy to have heard from you again.

How are YOU doing? How are you coping? Do your kids know? Your families? Do you have someone in real life you can talk about this with? It’s a whole lot for you to try to absorb and process on your own.

Please keep posting. ♥️

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 8691123

Aletheia ( member #79172) posted at 7:01 AM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Zeta, all I can think is holy shit. I am so sorry. I didn’t imagine what he wasn’t telling you would be that bad. I know he’s your husband, but he’s disgusting. Imagine someone his age preying on your kids when they were 20 barf Your husband will never stop cheating, he is severely broken. Up to you, you stay in this marriage you will have multiple more DDs or will have to turn a blind eye again. This marriage is literally making you ill. All I can say again is I’m so sorry. No more hesitation, it’s time to tell people, you need support.

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
id 8691133

 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 1:44 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Thank you, everyone, for kind words and support. I read every word and will read it again, even the harsh ones. I know I would tell something similar to my friends, if they were in the same situation and I hope I will find the strength to fight for myself.

Right now I am just struggling with everything that has happened. I still can't believe this is my life now. How can a person change this much? We were together almost 20 years, when he started with the first LTAP, and those were good years. I still believe we both were happy then. And then at 36, he changed in a course of less than a year into this selfish cheater, who didn't care at all about the damage he was causing. Is this even possible? I wonder if he was always this way, but there were never any indications of cheating before and he offered a polygraph when I questioned this. And he was pretty bad at the beginning at hiding things, that is why I caught very early on that something was happening, so I am inclined to believe he actually was faithful for the first 20 years. Then he cheated with her and suddenly the moral code was gone. How does this happen?

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 2:14 PM, Saturday, October 2nd]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8691187

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 1:59 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Zeta, I KNOW you will find the strength. I know the shock is overwhelming your central nervous system. Do you have a fitness monitor? Use slow breathing to keep your pulse under 100. Intrusive thoughts can spike adrenaline and shoot your heart rate up, which makes more adrenaline, and it escalates into panic attacks for me where I can barely breathe. So watch the physical signs your body is giving you, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

I don't want to scare you, but you may never understand. I still don't know if my WH was always a secret cheat and liar or became one as life didn't turn out the way he planned. He certainly learned all the shitty coping techniques from his FOO and I still struggle with getting through to him on a meaningful level. He has no idea why he did anything he did other than he wanted to and in his twisted logic, it was a win/win, keep the family together, fool me into happy ever after with risk of STDs and all the side sex he wanted. It's a lot to stay married to, even on a good day, and today is a bad one. I have asked myself all the questions you just asked and i have no answers or none that help. I'm sorry.

If I can offer any helpful suggestions at this point, try to save understanding the past or his progression for later, when you are out of your discovery shock. Try to focus on now, today, what you need to feel safe, and don't get too caught up in his current trauma of being outed. My WH admits that during those awful months, he doesn't even remember what he was thinking or what he said. Unfortunately, I remember all of it and most of it is painful to recall. You are on a sinking ship and you need to bail, not figure out the root cause of the leak. Grab your life jacket, bail, save yourself and worry about how the leak came to be once you are on dry land, supported by those who love you. I can almost guarantee that any attempt you make to get those answers from your confused and morally compromised husband will be a waste of your time right now, and only cause you more pain and confusion.

Be Here Now. Take care of yourself vigilantly, starting right now. Take long hot showers or baths, dress comfy, pamper yourself in any way you can to distract yourself from the emotional trauma. Keep reaching out and please find a friend, a lawyer and a counselor ASAP. ((( Hugs)))

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 2:00 PM, Friday, October 1st]

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 8691193
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