Newest Member: HeartbrokenWife76

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

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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:08 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

I think it is way too soon to be considering reconciliation. First, reconciliation is a gift from you that needs to be earned. If you are starting from a default of being willing stay married, then you are providing him with no impetus to change.

Second, there is no way that a man goes from having a parallel relationship for half your marriage to instantly becoming a remorseful and honest person. He is comfort with lying and deceiving you; in fact, he’s made a lifestyle out of it. If he is quickly and easily dropping his AP like a hot potato, then that speaks ill of his character in a different way… it shows how he can carry on an intense emotional and physical relationships but then cut someone out the minute that they become inconvenient for him. If that’s the kind of person that he is, then you can’t expect much compassion or empathy from him once he feels like your pain and mistrust are burdensome.

Third, don’t go to couples counseling, at least not yet. The problem is not you or your marriage; it’s your cheating husband. Counseling requires complete honesty and accountability in order to be effective and your husband has not yet proven that he is capable of either.

If you want to see how committed your husband is, then you need to impose consequences:

1. A postnuptial agreement that is fair (ie, legally enforceable) but generous toward you. He needs to give you a safety net on which to jump if you need to.

2. He needs to quit and find another job. You won’t feel safe while he’s under the same roof as his AP.

3. NO CONTACT with AP under any circumstances.

4. He takes the lead on healing the marriage. So many BS make the mistake of becoming PhDs in infidelity while their WS can’t bother to read a single page from a book. He should be the one scouring Amazon and the Internet for resources to help you heal, looking for counselors, etc.

Lastly, get individual counseling for yourself so you can get help processing this trauma and consult with a lawyer so you know what divorce would look like if you need to go that route. You can also discuss with the attorney what a fair postnup would look like.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 490   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8691197
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 8:59 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

I've been through what you currently are going through. And although I also had my doubts about my WH faithfulness, I believed him when he told me that he would NEVER cheat on me. And that he loved me so much! Okay?? Riiight!!!

After I realized the truth of who he was, I still stayed with him because I felt I had no other options to be able to leave and live on my own without his support. I depended on him and he knew this.

He never gave his double life up. He kept his behaviors going until just days before his passing, around a year and a half ago. Flirted with nurses on his deathbed. Didn't matter to him that it hurt me. Interesting that he even told my daughter that he didn't want to hurt me. And yet, he did it right under our noses and right in front of me. He didn't care. He also couldn't hold back anymore his truth. Felt he deserved it.

In his mind he was able to justify to himself that this was normal behavior, or whatever he decided the reasons were. And I remember him telling me that he loved me but it also felt good to have sex with another women. He was drunk one time when he told me this. And another time during a discussion, he felt it was no big deal when a married man had sex with other women. I thought what the heck? Crazy.

I knew that I would never be able to trust him again. My trust in him was long gone. Feeling in love with him was long gone. Intimacy was pretty much non existent because I no longer had the desire to be vulnerable or intimate with him after I began to find out how unworthy he was.

What else was left once he destroyed the marriage with his infidelities? I loved him but I can also look back and see how confused I was because what he was doing was nowhere near what I would have considered to be loving.

You can heal from this but I don't believe that you will as long as you are with him. He does not honor your marriage vows. And I can not see that changing anytime soon or in fact at all. I believe that this is ingrained behavior, probably dating back to his upbringing.

You have to understand that he lied to you for I'm pretty sure throughout the marriage. I believe it was. He snuck around while at work behind my back chasing after other women. How embarrassing to now know this about him. I bet his coworkers knew what was going on. He probably said terrible things about you to justify his actions to others. My deceased WH did.

I can also guarantee that although you were in denial all of these years, his deceptive behavior affected you in so many ways. Caused you trust issues, low self esteem. Always caused you to second guess yourself. Made you feel unsafe in your marriage.

And I'm sure as you think back and reflect, I'm sure that you will begin to question everything! Completely normal because you have lived a lie throughout your marriage. I get it because I did too! I get it! It sucks! It really does. Caused my world as I knew it to turn completely up side down.

I am healing. Still have my bad days but I am also having good days and so much more clarity. I don't have to live with and deal with his lies and deceptions anymore. And there were many. Broke my heart a million times. I could barely move or breath for the longest time. I am much better now.

I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I have peace. I don't have to deal with his lies or hurtful behavior anymore. I don't have to sleep next to this person anymore who didn't see value in me. It's sad. But on the other hand how he treated me was sad. I didn't deserve any of it, just like you don't either.

One thing you will find yourself doing is trying to figure out how you could love someone who could do this to you. You will reflect on this often.

What gave me clarity was to realize my deceased WH actions were two-faced. And also his own issues. Plus he enjoyed having multiple women. Cake eater. He liked his stable homelife; loving, faithful, kind, trusting wife, kid's, dog. The perfect family he could show to the world while he hid the truth of his dirty little secrets from me and the world.

When he was in front of me he mainly was sweet, kind, generous, loving. And behind my back he was a cheating, lying, deceptive pos ***hole.

Good men don't behave this way. And that right there is the truth. And good men don't do this to their kid's either.

You can heal from this but my advice if you can is to leave him. He has already stole so much time from you. He broke your heart! And I have a hard time believing that it only started the second half of your marriage. I'm sure if you keep digging, he will somehow remember that there were more other women, he just forgot to tell you.

I am deeply sorry that you have found yourself here. Take this time to learn, read as much as you can. Definitely seek support from others who you can trust to comfort you. You will need it.

Expose. Please don't allow him to guilt you into not saying anything to others. Do it for yourself. What he thinks and feels no longer matters. You are in the fight for your life right now and really need the support to get through this. But you know what, as you work your way to the other side of this trauma, you will find that you are so worthy of so much more in life. Not that you are looking but there are lots of men out in this world who would never do anything like this to you. Just shows you how sick that your WH is. Hang in there and keep us posted.

posts: 719   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8691517
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 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 10:16 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

I am not committing to R right now, but I have also not yet decided to leave. I am just taking one day at the time, deciding for each day whether to stay or not. It is the most I am capable right now.

He knows it is on him alone to try to convince me, that he is worth another shot and I see that he is trying. I hope it is sincere. He started IC and is willing to talk whenever I need. He initiates the conversation, if he sees me struggling. Sometimes I just don't know what to say anymore, but if he starts, I can open up as well. He is open about his whereabouts all the time and gave me access to check where he is in the real time. He is looking for another job. He takes care of pretty much everything at home, tries to get me to eat healthy, to drink enough, to go for walks,... It is just not enough. It gets me through the day, but the next day is not any better. He asks what more he can do, but I can't answer that. I feel nothing can ever make me feel better. Sometimes I almost wish he wouldn't act so nice and understanding. OK, not really, but if he was mean to me, tried to blame anything on me, if he had shown impatience or anger or frustration with my state of mind, it would be so much easier to go. But as things are right now, I am just not ready to let us go. And then I am mad at myself for that. I used to think cheating was a dealbraker for me, and then I stayed after finding out about 9 year LTA. After D-day I said any more lies were a dealbraker, but I am still here, even though the new lies were way worse than what I found out at D-day. What more will I be willing to take from him? I feel I can't even trust myself to take care of me, let alone him.

A big problem is, that I am still not willing to let anyone know. Not because of him and he is not pressuring me in any way regarding this, but I just can't have people blaming me for staying. I blame myself enough. And I know, chances are, I would have unlimited support from family and friends and I really need it, but there is always the "what if" voice in my head, who says people in my life would think less of me for trying to stay after everything. I have a counselling session this week, maybe it will help regarding this problem.

I know my legal options. Where I live, the divorce would be a fairly simple and quick procedure, providing we stay civil and can reach an agreement about children. He always was a good father so I would never want to interfere with their relationship and I have decided long ago, before D-day, when I was suspecting something was not right, that I would offer joint custody, or we could ask the kids, who they want to live with. They are old enough, the youngest is almost 12 and I think they deserve a say. Finances shouldn't be a problem, everything is split 50:50 in my country, and we did contribute equally.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 11:44 AM, Wednesday, October 6th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8691522
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redwing6 ( member #72593) posted at 10:43 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

You've had far wiser souls than I respond. You have to decide for you what your deal breaker is. It sounds to me you're still in limbo for which direction to go. We here, can only advise you what to do, not make a decision for you.

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 8691523
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:20 PM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

Zeta, I am glad to see a post from you, as you have been in my thoughts. I think you are doing ok, even if it doesn't feel like it. I'm glad you're not pressuring yourself one way or the other to stay or go. You are still in shock, still overwhelmed and it will take a long time for the ground under your feet to feel solid, no matter what path your life and marriage take. I know it feels like nothing will make you feel better, but if you search for small moments of happiness, either with pets or kids or in nature, and try to really appreciate the sunrise and sunset or music or art or anything that is beautiful, those moments can help you through.

OK. My stern advice is to let go of the notion that telling others will make them judge you for staying. I suffered alone for a year, and I almost lost myself with no one to talk to about this except the man that broke me into pieces and the stranger I paid to listen to me talk in therapy. The day I told my best friend was very hard, not because I worried she would judge what I chose to do in my pain, but because I was guilty of deception in our friendship. I can tell you that after disclosing to my four closest friends, that none have judged me for staying and the worst response I got was absolute shock, and one is unable to consider my husband a friend. The harshest response I have had to deal with is their continued concern/suspicion that the cheating and lying might not be finished. But no one who loves or cares for me has added to my pain or sorrow with judgement. They know I judge myself and further judgement is unnecessary. Had I gotten pushback or attitude from anyone at the lowest point in my life, I would have ended the friendship. Be warned though, there were those that were hurt that I did not tell them, and I wasn't prepared for that burst of guilt, but I was pretty adamant that I was hanging on by my fingernails and I only knew one thing for certain: I would not judge myself for how I handled the devastation I found myself in and I would let my feelings out no matter what. It was odd. Day one, I said outloud to myself in my shock that I am allowed to feel whatever I am feeling whenever I feel it. I still allow myself that grace. Please do the same for yourself. But PLEASE tell someone who loves you to help lighten the emotional load you are struggling under. Please. There are so many things I wish I had done differently in retrospect, and reaching out for support is very high on the list. The mind warp of discovering infidelity is insane, but the disconnect perpetuating the charade of the happy marriage with my friends was another layer of confusion I did not need.

The only caution I will give came from my IC: be careful WHO you tell, because you can never untell. Be sure you tell the right persons for the right reasons. But PLEASE. Let someone who loves you hug you and grieve with you and you will feel a huge release from the trauma you are carrying around.

Also, tell your WH to be incredibly patient with you. Like NINE years patient. You get all the time you need to process this, to grieve, to rage, to do whatever you need to do to find your way through and decide what path forward will be best for you. You get all the time you want to decide what you want the rest of your life to look like.

This is petty, but I have a reminder on my digital calendar for May 2027 to mark the absence of infidelity from my marriage to match the number of years it stained my marriage. I promised MOW a good riddance card on that date, and I'm petty enough to follow through even if I no longer care by then. My WH knows that I hope to be "over it" by then, but I make no promises.

Today is our 35th wedding Anniversary. It matters a lot to him, not much to me. All I know is my spouse has been faithful to me for 3 years and 6 months now. I wish I knew IF or for how long he has been truthful with me.

I wish you peace, love and support moving forward. Please keep checking in.

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 8691547
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 4:47 PM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

Do what is right for you. Remember though, your kids do see that something is wrong. They can see it in your eyes, your posture, the way that you can barely get out of bed. Your appetite. Try and see through your kid's eyes what they may be witnessing.

Their good father did this to you. Just try to take this in. The good husband and good father is the one who brought you down to your lowest level. Their good father while pretending to be a good dad was secretly destroying the mother of his children.

I am mostly past the anger stage of my husband's death and who he was. It's complicated but I've pretty much managed to get through everything. It has been tough though because I also haven't been able to figure out how I've been able to continue to love someone who could stab me, his wife, the mother of his children in the back over and over again.

I've been thinking about what could help you along while you learn to adjust to your new norm. Now that you know that your WH is a serial cheater, you may want to look into getting involved in one of the online groups for the sex addicts spouse. Go to I Can Relate on SI and look up the thread for sex addicts. There is a poster on there that can guide you with information on how to look these forums up. There are several that will be able to guide you.

It's a tough journey that your WH won't be able to nice you out of this time. And now that you know some of the truth, his kindness won't be able to take the pain away. In time, nothing he does will be good enough to take your pain away. And the chances of him getting better imo are pretty unlikely. He's an addict. He obviously thrives on other women's attention. Chases the feel good high. I am sorry.

Another option is to get on antidepressants (and sleep aides) while you learn to maneuver your new reality. You will need to let your doctor know what has been going on. He's heard it before. You are not the first who has reached out to him for these reasons. And getting on antidepressants may help lesson your PTSD from the trauma.

What country are you from?

posts: 719   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 1:24 AM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

I would urge you to tell a friend or two.

I did not tell for a very long time (2.5 years to be exact). I suffered for it. But when I did confide to my inner circle ... it was amazing. I have received zero judgement. In fact, my people were also hurt to find out and I think their pain and confusion helped them immediately understand mine.

There is nothing like feeling loved and supported at this time. Your battered heart needs it. But also, your self esteem does too. It's wonderful to be reminded how lovable you are, how lovable you must be since you've managed to build relationships so strong that these people show up for you, mourn with you, pick you up.

It is a critical thing imo. It is for you and right now, you should do anything and everything to nurse and care for yourself. Let them in.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8691638
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 1:30 AM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

What The End just said, so much better than I was able to. xo

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 8691640
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 1:59 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

I told a number of people b/c I was NOT going to be blamed for a D had it come to that. I could see him telling everyone "we were disconnected" or "we grew apart". Yup we grew apart b/c my H was cheating in me duh! duh

You need to get away from the mentality that people will judge you for staying with a cheater. So what?! It’s your life and your choice. Don’t let others be your "inner voice" and let that influence you.

Plus you don’t know how many people YOU know that may have a cheating spouse or significant other and they stayed together.

I don’t care who knows and who judges me.

We had a guy in our town who was fired from a big firm for sexual harassment. It was in the Wall Street Journal and major papers. His wife and kids had to read about it — all the details of the sexual harassment he inflicted on a co-worker (more than once and more than one). They stayed together.

Maybe he’s changed. Maybe not. I don’t judge her b/c it’s her life and her decision.

Point is that you have to stop letting what others may think influence you. No one is perfect. People change. It is possible you live 30+ happy years with your H.

But only you can decide.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 2:01 PM, Tuesday, October 5th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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Underserving ( member #72259) posted at 3:17 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

It is absolutely discombobulating to discover any type of affair, let alone one that lasted 9 years. And then to learn that was only the tip of the iceberg! You poor dear. Your whole world has been flipped upside down, and all you want is to wake up from this horrific nightmare and everything be normal again.

It’s ok to take some time to process all of this before making a decision. It doesn’t make you weak or stupid. It doesn’t mean you’re letting him get away with it. You’ve been traumatized, you’re in shock, and it makes sense to need some time to find your bearings.

I’m in R with my husband. I’m a firm believer that reconciliation is possible, and think it’s wonderful when marriages are able to survive and thrive after infidelity. I have to be honest, the chances of a serial cheater ever becoming R material are slim to none. It’s ok that you don’t know that right now. It’s ok to smoke the hopium pipe that maybe, just maybe, he’ll be that .01% and really change. It’s all ok for where you’re at right now, because I can promise you, those feelings will change. The shock will wear off, and the anger stage will hit. And boy howdy will it hit hard. No one will have to advise you on what to do, because you’ll know. I really believe that.

For now, just keep taking it day by day. Take care of yourself. Prioritize YOU.

I’m so so sorry for what you are experiencing. Wishing you strength and healing. ❤️

BW (32)Found out 3 years post end of AD-day 12-9-19In R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 674   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8691695
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:04 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

I think the very first thing anyone who has been cheated on needs is financial security. If you don’t have a job get one. Once you have established the ability to look after yourself financially then you can make good decisions. Those decisions will be based on reality and not dreams. If your husband is able to change this quickly I will be amazed because it will be a miracle. He’s lived another life most of his adult life so how does he think he’s going to change. There are people on here who are still married to their long term cheating partners but I wonder what their day-to-day lives are like. I cannot imagine it ever leaving your mind for more than just a few minutes. My husband cheated years and years ago. It was out of town, we were very young, and I let it ride. By the time I ask him about it we were so far away from that life that he admitted it fairly quickly and we’ve moved on. He never had an affair. He just had sex with other women. If he had given himself permission to fall in love with, and have a sexual relationship with, another woman, that lasted years, I would never forgive him and I know I would not live with him. There are some things that I cannot overcome and one of them is a chronic lying. I just can’t do it. I’m not telling you what to do. Please understand I just want you to be aware that people do not change that quickly. I don’t get how he thinks he’s going to do it and that’s why this surprises me so much about people forgiving long-term cheaters. They are actually saying it’s OK that you robbed me of a good portion of my own history.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

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scaredwoman ( member #78680) posted at 7:37 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

He never had an affair. He just had sex with other women

Were these his words?

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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:45 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

the very first thing anyone who has been cheated on needs is financial security.

I agree 100%.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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annb ( member #22386) posted at 11:50 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Are you in IC? A good IC

I have to make one point bc I vehemently disagree with you

Good fathers don't destroy their children's mother and their families.

Think about that. He was leading a double life for nine years. I don't consider a man who risks his family for his own selfish needs to be a good father.

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 1:28 AM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

I'm sorry if any of our responses may seem harsh. I know mine can be. It's because we are so angry for you! We understand the pain! We've been there, exactly where you are! We are hoping for the best outcome for you. And we all feel angry at your husband for treating you and your kid's this way. Neither you nor your kid's deserved to be put through this emotional turmoil.

You are WAY better then how he has treated you in your marriage to him. WAY BETTER!! Good husband's and fathers don't cheat on their wives and kid's. I am sorry.

In time you will see that what he did to destroy you and your family was very wrong. His thinking is wrong. He is broken. He seriously needs help. So do you to learn to navigate through your new reality. Find yourself a good therapist.

I also didn't tell my family at first what was going on. I suffered in silence too. But after his death, I told everyone. I couldn't stop talking about it. It spilled out. Interesting though that they all had there suspicions too.

At first my family was in shock and disappointment as they learned the truth about who my WH really was. But as they see me heal and grow, we are letting it go, allowing things to move into the past.

Just hang on and take things one day at a time and even one minute at a time when necessary. Things will get easier but it will take time. Hang in there.

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 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 12:39 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

OK. My stern advice is to let go of the notion that telling others will make them judge you for staying. I suffered alone for a year, and I almost lost myself with no one to talk to about this except the man that broke me into pieces and the stranger I paid to listen to me talk in therapy.


I would urge you to tell a friend or two.


You need to get away from the mentality that people will judge you for staying with a cheater. So what?! It’s your life and your choice. Don’t let others be your "inner voice" and let that influence you.

Thank you Whatisloveanyway, TheEnd, The1stWife, Hurtmyheart and others. I hear you and I know in my mind, that telling a friend is a right thing to do. I just can't bring myself to do it right now. But I will start by choosing who to tell, for when I am finally ready. Not my family, they will be the first to know, if I decide to end the marriage, just not yet. Also not our mutual friends. We have been together for so long, most of my friends are actually mutual friends, some even from high school. And I have always considered him to be my best friend, but I realize now, he has not been my friend for a long time. I have a group of friends from college, 5 of us still get together sometimes and we talk online almost weekly. We are not as close as we were, but I believe I would have their full support. So I think I could start with one or two of them. I will think about it.

I have to make one point bc I vehemently disagree with you

Good fathers don't destroy their children's mother and their families.

I agree, his actions were not the actions of a father, who puts his family before anything else. But I have to separate what he did in the past 9 years, from his ability to be the father to our children. I have seen many times ex spouses trying to alienate the children from the other spouse because of unresolved issues between them. Or trash the other parent in front of the children. It never ends well for the kids. So no matter what my feelings are or will be towards him, I will not interfere in his relationship with the kids. If they choose to live with him, I will have to accept that. I hope however, they will not :). But I will tell them the truth about why we are separating, if it comes to that. Not in details, but they will know who stepped out of the marriage and with whom. I will not have her anywhere near my children.

I think the very first thing anyone who has been cheated on needs is financial security. If you don’t have a job get one. Once you have established the ability to look after yourself financially then you can make good decisions.

Thankfully this is not a problem for me. I have a good job, and while it would not be easy to live on one salary, especially with the loans we have from buying the house, it would be manageable. So my decision to stay or D, will not have to be based on fear for financial stability.

I'm sorry if any of our responses may seem harsh. I know mine can be. It's because we are so angry for you! We understand the pain! We've been there, exactly where you are!

Actually I welcome the harsh answers. I know you mean well and I know I need other perspectives. I still love my husband and even with all that has happened I tend to think of him as of someone I want him to be as opposed to who he really is. And harsh responses somehow bring me back to the reality. I may not like some things when I first read them, but when I think about it, I can see your point. Sometimes I still have the urge to defend him, even on this forum but I hold back. I know he deserves it all.

Today is our 35th wedding Anniversary. It matters a lot to him, not much to me. All I know is my spouse has been faithful to me for 3 years and 6 months now. I wish I knew IF or for how long he has been truthful with me.

Our 19th wedding anniversary was a day before D-day. I don't think I will ever be able to celebrate it again, even if we truly reconcilliate. I was so happy that day, he planned a whole day just for us and we had a wonderful time, just to have my world crash down on me the very next day. Life sux sometimes.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 12:40 PM, Wednesday, October 6th]

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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:01 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Zeta, glad to see you check in and to see that you are doing ok, all things considered. I'm glad you have a plan to share your truth with those closest to you. The isolation can be dangerous, and most of us struggled with telling others, because it is so shocking and embarrassing. The only pushback I got was from my closest friend who was upset that I didn't reach out sooner. I got the "That's what friends are for, we lean on each other when we are in need" speech. But all accepted that I told them when I could. Most have found a way to détente with my WH, and it was hardest for him to have mutual friends know. I have a LT friend I have never told, partly because I think she might judge us both a bit harshly, but also because I wanted to keep a social couple we could maintain normalcy around and have an infidelity free zone.

Glad to hear you have financial security, and that is not clouding your decision making moving forward. Hopefully the stress is not affecting work and you feel secure there.

Isn't the Anniversary celebrating during the A the worst cognitive dissonance?? My WH spent our 23rd emailing new Ashley Madison prospects trying to replace the MOW he was getting bored with before and after our celebration date. Our kids took what was my favorite picture of us, all dressed up, me sitting in his lap, him kissing my cheek. The hubris of it all. Then the 1st Anniversary after DDay, a rare gift of lovely flowers, a reaffirming/recommitting date night, and as I learned a year later, the MOW still getting lots of loving from him with the A taken underground. It makes me nauseous to look at any pictures from those days. If you are on social media, I recommend turning off those memories or on this day crap, they ruined so many days for me. I fixed the social media and then Google photo memories cost me a day of crying. I think I am bullet proof for those triggery photos now. This is a little thing, but pictures are so hard for me, because they are false narratives now. I made a photo album called Me, and filled it with every great picture of me with kids, friends, pets, all my adventures and happy untainted memories, not a one with him in it. It took the sting off the "my life was a lie" notion, because those pics show a full, authentic, loving and wonderful life and let me realize his adultery did not taint my life, but his. Do whatever little things you can to give yourself some peace.

If I have learned anything yet, and I'm still very confused in general, it is that how I feel about all of this and him and us is not the bedrock I used to believe, but ever shifting and changing. I have made great decisions and proclamations and been so certain of my choices and my path in the last three years, only to find myself reconsidering almost everything. I currently am thinking that I am in a constant state of flux, changing and becoming I don't know what yet. I see early me in you, calculating the possible outcomes, thinking there will be a decision to stay or go, and I like to encourage those with less time in the nightmare to not try to worry or plan too far ahead right now. Be where your feet are, is the saying, or be here now. You can't know what you might want or how you will feel or who you will become downstream. Early on, I was a desperate, territorial animal trying to save the marriage I defined myself through. I never even considered leaving until the lies and deception continued. My WH told me when the truth came out that it was easier to get into than to get out of, that it was easier to stay with her than to end it. So THAT was the only guarantee I gave him in return. I am staying with him so long as it is easier than leaving. Whether or not it is, that ball is in his court.

We had a conversation this morning about some of the changes in my personality, and there are things I wish were not changing in me, especially the hardening I feel inside and the irrational fears that have popped up. I told him the only thing I'm sure of is that I have changed, I am still changing and I have no idea who I am any more, or who I will become whenever I come out the other side of this. Hard for him to hear, but very true. You are changed, you will continue to change. We will be here if you need us. Take care.

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 8691807
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 ZetaCephei (original poster new member #79378) posted at 2:26 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Hopefully the stress is not affecting work and you feel secure there.

I manage okay at work, not my best, but I get my job done. I have a problem though, that I have a major exam coming up in December. I work in a medical field, not medical doctor, but similar and the exam is an equivalent to board exams for doctors, after 4 years of specialty training. ANd I have no idea how to start studying. I already pushed the date from October to December, that was back when I only knew about the first LTA and I felt confident I can pull myseld together and do this. Now things have changed, but I can't change the date again. So I have to study and I feel I just have to start, then I will be able to go on. But starting is so hard. Instead of studying, I read old SI threads, looking for I don't know what. Hope, way out, some way to make sense of this mess?

So THAT was the only guarantee I gave him in return. I am staying with him so long as it is easier than leaving. Whether or not it is, that ball is in his court.


I really like that and I was thinking the same. I can't decide on anything right now, but I hope, if I ever feel it is more painful to stay than to leave, I will have the strength to go.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021
id 8691811
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:48 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Zeta, sending hugs of support. I know well the pull of these boards, the obsession with trying to understand this new world order. I'm so sorry you have the pressure of the exam coming up. Maybe you can try setting time limits on this forum or reading trauma recovery articles. Can you try going someplace neutral like a library or a cubby at work where you can study in a different environment? Try to positive self talk yourself into the study mode, remind yourself how smart and capable and awesome you are, visualize yourself acing the exam, and don't forget to praise yourself for keeping things together so well.

I'm self employed with my WH and I just shut down for a while and made him carry my workload. My trauma was derailed or rerouted on my ultimate dday, when I realized I was fed nothing but lies and they were carrying on under my nose, because our daughter got in a terrible accident the next day during a dangerous winter storm, when she foolishly drove hours to be with the "boyfriend" who was using her. I was paralyzed with anxiety, thankfully she was fine. But I shocked myself when the panic wore off by harboring some resentment that I had to put my needs aside to tend to her broken heart and busted new car. She has had a knack for derailing my recovery like that and had to unexpectedly move back in with us after college for 8 months while we continued to hide everything from her and pretend to be an awesome happy couple. UGH. I'm not sure the relativity or it could be worse game is useful, but I play it a lot and maybe it will work for you from time to time.

Good luck with the studying. Another hint I have is from my ADD/dyslexic son's school years. Get sensory when you are trying to put information in your head. Use perfume or candy or coffee or pet an animal, whatever sensory input you can use to distract your brain from the trauma to focus on the matter at hand. My son found he could learn on the treadmill quite well, but couldn't learn a thing if a bird was chirping outside the window. Brains are so strange. I know we are in charge our ours and not the other way but its hard to remember sometimes. Take care.

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 8691819
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

After Dday, concentration was almost impossible for me. It's better now, four years out, but still not great. My job requires I take work home, bug it's really difficult to concentrate there, so I found the best way to get things done is to head to a coffee shop or quiet pub, where I can set a time limit to achieve a goal. It gives me the added benefit of doing something for me while getting work done. You might try a change of venue.

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1115   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8691879
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