Newest Member: Armyman9196

Divorce/Separation :
Getting to terms with the marriage-ending-affair

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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 12:02 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

So, I got divorced this spring because XW just did not want the marriage anymore. And if one is completely unwilling, that's it. Having an affair from over ten years ago as emotional baggage put a stop to making great efforts to try and save the marriage (there's more to it, this is the executive summary).

Quick timeline:
Jan 2021 - L tells me she wants a divorce
Feb/Mar 2021 - Talks/ walks/ decision to get divorced
Mar/ Apr/ May 2021 - mediation
May 2021 - Divorce final
May/ Jun 2021 - Frantically looking for a new house
Jul 2021 - L informs me a romantic interest was part of the reasons to get divorced; she didn't want to deal with another A.
Jul/ Aug 2021 - Remodeling new house
Aug 2021 - moved out

After the divorce was final it became apparant that a friendship between her and a male that had been bugging me for the last years had turned romantic. In her words she discovered in December 2020 that she had fallen in love with him. She told me this much because there was a possibility this info might reach the kids though friends of them.

About a month ago my new home was ready to move into and I did so. From this point I've had time to actually think things through and I'm coming to the conclusion that (of course) she is still minimizing things, withholding information and probably lying about the extent of the affair. I have decided that asking for information is not going to do me any good as I will just assume the answers will still be minimized information. She might even just confirm my suspicions to be done with it. On the other hand I'm having a really hard time letting go and not going for more information. I'm tormenting myself with scenario's as to the extent of the affair and having imaginary conversations with her to get it out in the open.

Not sure if there is a question I want to ask you guys, mostly looking for a place to vent I guess.

PS. Bit unsure if the Divorce/ Separation section is the right section for this.

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8689507
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DigitalSpyder ( member #61995) posted at 12:34 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

That sucks man. But, if your already divorced, what's the point of trying to get details? I understand feeling the need for them, but do you actually need them? Will it really change anything for the better? I'm sure she was minimizing and down playing what was going on, its right out of handbook. After all, she can't make herself out to be the villian even though in that situation she is.

I'd try and focus on moving forward without looking back. It'll be the swiftest way to move on, but probably the hardest thing to do.

I'd say this belongs here as long as you feel comfortable with it being here.

Post Tenebras Spero Lucem

posts: 353   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2017   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8689510
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:15 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

It's pretty safe to assume the worst and move on. You already know she has cheated and lied. There's no reason to assume she's being truthful now. She likely isn't even to herself.

posts: 792   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8689524
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 3:33 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Reading her story it was pulling teeth to get the truth out of her when she wanted reconciliation. She’s posted and read here, so she knows many betrayed spouses want to know what was actually going on in their lives no matter what path they’re taking. And she hasn’t offered it.

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 376   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8689526
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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 4:19 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

My life, attitude and ways of thinking have been shaped so much by our realtionship and the affair component in it that it does not come naturally at all to "suck it up" and "let it go". But moving on will be the path to take. Going by reason it really is quite straightforward, but sadly my emotions don't play by the rules just yet.

First stop will be recognizing when emotion lags behind reason and vent in safe places (which does help it catch up).

I'll get there at some point and I know I will be better off.

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8689537
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 5:18 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

@NaggingDoubts,

I actually think it is entirely fair and reasonable on your part to want to get to the bottom of what had really happened to you. On that note, does her failing to disclose the affair until after the D was final affect the settlement you received.

I did check out leftoolate's profile, there seems to be something strangely disassociative in her writing. As in, you and she were in a seemingly happy marriage but somehow she kissed and had intimate physical contact with another man, as if 'it just happened'. No mention whatsoever of what was going on through her head. I do wonder if she ever did dig down to her whys and experience true remorse for hurting you--as opposed to regret and shame.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 5:34 PM, Tuesday, September 21st]

posts: 305   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8689554
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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 6:41 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

I actually think it is entirely fair and reasonable on your part to want to get to the bottom of what had really happened to you. On that note, does her failing to disclose the affair until after the D was final affect the settlement you received.

Not here in the Netherlands. The end result would be no different, but it does hurt to have signed the agreements when they have been drawn up under false pretenses.

I did check out leftoolate's profile, there seems to be something strangely disassociative in her writing. As in, you and she were in a seemingly happy marriage but somehow she kissed and had intimate physical contact with another man, as if 'it just happened'. No mention whatsoever of what was going on through her head. I do wonder if she ever did dig down to her whys and experience true remorse for hurting you--as opposed to regret and shame.

After A-1 she put in a tremendous amount of work to get to bottom of things and she earned a deep respect from me for that. After the divorce however the word sorry was uttered but there has been no sincere apology. That would require her to open up however and if she was unable and/ or unwilling to do that in the last years of our marriage and during the divorce there is no reason for me to expect that from her now.

[This message edited by naggingdoubts at 6:42 PM, Tuesday, September 21st]

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8689571
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 8:19 PM on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

I absolutely know what you mean about feeling duped.

Well, that she ended up cheating again, then it appears that she really did not get to the bottom of things inside of her that allowed her to cheat. I mean, how much remorse can one have if that person cheats again--and then lies about it.

If she decided that she wanted to not be married, then she could have divorced you, BEFORE getting into a relationship with anyone else.

Your daughters do deserve to know what happened with their parents' marriage besides that your xWW 'was not happy' or in any other nonsense way that your xWW will likely try to spin the narrative. Especially as they are old enough to be asking questions and to be drawing conclusions from their observations. So she will probably have to answer to them at least about her second affair, as the truth from this is likely to come out, one way or another.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 11:33 PM, Tuesday, September 21st]

posts: 305   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8689593
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:26 AM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I mean, how much remorse can one have if that person cheats again--and then lies about it.

This. She obviously didn't learn much the first go around that she'd put herself in position to not only betray you but her daughters. She's still self centered looking for validation outside of herself.

posts: 792   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8689817
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 4:54 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

You are
No longer responsible for protecting your daughters view of their mother and if they equally blame you for the D I believe they deserve to know that their mom decided to love emotionally and physically another man over their dad.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3203   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8689867
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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 6:49 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

My daughters position and their relationship with the both of us is not really an issue at the moment. No, they do not know the ins and outs. The decision to divorce was mutual and that is the basis of what they know. They have been told and are regularly invited to speak their mind and ask questions if they have them. They are old enough to treat them as adults and understand that a relationship between partners is something else than a relationship between a child and a parent. If the subject ever becomes relevant I am prepared to deal with it from an open standpoint and with an open visor.

All in all for me this has been one lousy week. Recognizing some bullshit left and coming to grips that it's more than likely that some fears are in fact reality on the right. Not having the energy to find distraction in my job or my hobbies. IC tomorrow, hoping there's some foothold to be found in this mess.

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8689888
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 8:54 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

Playing devil’s advocate here—is it at all possible that your ex-wife did what is almost universally advised here (in retrospect, of course, in post-affair analysis) and left the marriage honorably when she developed feelings for another person prior to cheating? I read so often "he/she should have just left"; "why didn’t he/she just divorce rather than have an A"—maybe that’s actually what she did? Is it possible?

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6316   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8689903
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 9:25 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

@Darkness Falls-- the problem is that she kept a friendship that the OP had expressed his concerns about already. She did not adequately protect her marriage as she had vowed to do. At the very least her boundaries are poor.

@naggingdoubts-- I am really sorry that you are still hurting. That said, there are definitely still emotions for you to process beyond 'the marriage is over what does it matter at this point'. Especially since you did try to give it a go after your xWW's first affair.

posts: 305   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8689905
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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 9:36 PM on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

Playing devil’s advocate here—is it at all possible that your ex-wife did what is almost universally advised here (in retrospect, of course, in post-affair analysis) and left the marriage honorably when she developed feelings for another person prior to cheating? I read so often "he/she should have just left"; "why didn’t he/she just divorce rather than have an A"—maybe that’s actually what she did? Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible. Things don't add up that way, but it is possible. Also in that scenario it would not be fully honourable. That would have been being open about it in the process and not still minimize things and withhold information. And the details I picked up on in the friendship with the AP over the last years make more sense in the not-so-honourable scenario.

In the end I will not know. I will have to decide to believe a scenario or be ok with not doing so.

Reading this last sentence I realize deciding on something to believe is BS. I need to reach a place where I'm ok with not knowing. Deciding on a truth and accepting it is something I have done a few times over the last years to deal with the developing friendship with AP. Looking back that was selling myself short big time.

[This message edited by naggingdoubts at 9:38 PM, Thursday, September 23rd]

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8689906
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 2:49 AM on Friday, September 24th, 2021

Wontbefooled and naggingdoubts, thank you for the clarification. I understand what you mean.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6316   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8689946
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 naggingdoubts (original poster new member #22657) posted at 8:33 AM on Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Today is my youngest daughters' birthday and before the brave face has to be put on I thought I'd type put some thoughts.

Quote from my first post in this thread.

After the divorce was final it became apparant that a friendship between her and a male that had been bugging me for the last years had turned romantic. In her words she discovered in December 2020 that she had fallen in love with him. She told me this much because there was a possibility this info might reach the kids through friends of them.

Yesterday during our weekly parenting meet-up XW informed me that she told our eldest that she had fallen in love with AP before the divorce. Informing them was something we had discussed as something which might be better than them hearing about it through friends. We ended up deciding not to tell them.

So yesterday was spent partly convincing XW that her actions were not as agreed upon. She really seems to see no harm in it. In the end she did word it in a way that she admitted she handled it in a way which was not agreed upon, but it was formally worded and again there are no signs of remorse or any awareness of what consequences their might be for others.

The other part of the day sent me down a shit-filled mental spiral. I hate this. I cannot do anything anymore while not thinking about the divorce, the affair. These thoughts are formed in my head as if I were telling them to her. I cannot set myself to do tasks much bigger than a simple household task. Tasks I can perform while still having those thoughts. Telling myself to stop out loud is a trick that worked after the first affair, but it falls short this time around. One of the things that bothers me most at the moment is her attitude towards me. She is putting up some sort of though facade, something which is clearly as fake as F. I still feel the need to hash out what happened with her in an open conversation but looking back at how she handled the divorce and the role the affair played in it. That conversation would only add to my confusion at this point in time. Maybe further down the line I can invite her to sit down with a therapist and me.

Today I will be picking up the birthday girl. Having cake over there while we hand her our present. This afternoon she is having her friends over at my place while I go to my brother where the eldest and me will be joining him, his wife and a friend of my daughter for a session of Dungeons and Dragons. That should provide some distraction for me and give me an opportunity to get a feeling for how the news about the affair is affecting the eldest.

BS - 46 (me)
XW/WW - 44 (leftoolate)
D-day 1 January 9 2009, January 10 2009, February 27 2009
Divorced Mya 2021
D-day 2 July 2021
Married 18 years, together 28.
Children: 2 girls aged 17 and 16

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jan. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Netherlands
id 8690272
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 11:12 AM on Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Well, what I am wondering reading this thread was how could she possibly justify, to anyone, getting herself into another affair. Especially since this is after all the work she supposedly did the first time around. This includes her extremely wayward behavior the past few years beforehand, such as taking on her inappropriate friendship instead of protecting her marriage. She had seemed to talk a pretty good game when she posted on here. Doesn't it occur to her that she has problems with integrity. I imagine these questions have to be absolutely burning for you.

I imagine this type of wayward behavior on her part includes going back on agreements of what to volunteer to your daughters, though.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 10:52 PM, Sunday, September 26th]

posts: 305   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8690276
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csaiht ( member #77335) posted at 5:13 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

is it at all possible that your ex-wife did what is almost universally advised here (in retrospect, of course, in post-affair analysis) and left the marriage honorably when she developed feelings for another person prior to cheating?

If one is developing feelings for someone else, especially to the point they're willing to leave the marriage, they are cheating already.

@naggingdoubts, Over this last year, I've done a lot of reading about trauma & healing, and I think it may help you to tell people the truth from your perspective.

Something I learned is that kids deserve to know enough about what's happening in their lives to be able to make sense of it. When we tell them things like "mom & dad separated because we both thought that was best" when that is not true, it insults their intelligence and gaslights them. They likely know more than we think they know.

Even if they don't fully know, they sense something else, and it's a betrayal for them to be lied to about it.

They don't need intimate details, but saying something like, "I want you to know that I'm always going to tell you the truth, even when it's difficult. Your mom cheated, and that's why we divorced."

You can answer questions they have after that, but just telling the truth is helpful for the healing process (for you and your kids), and even though it sucks to have to tell your own kids this, it's helpful for them to know the truth. It helps them put together the pieces of their lives.

I wouldn't consult your ex about this at all. She's proven to be a liar and cheat and she's not even playing by the rules you set with your kids anyway. Tell them the truth. Tell anyone the truth that you need to tell the truth to.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020
Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 116   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8691231
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 6:56 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

If one is developing feelings for someone else, especially to the point they're willing to leave the marriage, they are cheating already.

Especially a WS that was theoretically in a R. Their boundaries post A have to be further out than most. They already know they are susceptible to straying.

posts: 792   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8691241
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 4:08 PM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Especially a WS that was theoretically in a R. Their boundaries post A have to be further out than most. They already know they are susceptible to straying.

Yes. It boils down to if the WS was truly remorseful.....or not.

A long time moderator here once stated that when you truly find remorse, you GET IT. It doesn't guarantee that you will stay in love with your partner for the rest of your life, but it does basically guarantee that a situation like before would never occur again. HONESTY and EMPATHY are two words that are no longer absent in a former waywards dictionary. That being said, attractions outside an exclusive relationship don't 'just happen'. Just like the first time, boundaries were crossed....willfully....and poor decision after poor decision were made to the detriment of the soon-to-be betrayed.

What hurts the most in a story like this is when the BS believes that their partner has not only has dug into why they were able to betray their spouse, but has invested many more years in reconciliation.....I'm sure to the point that vulnerability was once again allowed....only to be trampled on again. Emotions shattered; many years 'lost'. And I'm sure, many reconciling BS's fears.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3830   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8691424
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