Newest Member: ibelieveinspring

Just Found Out :
Wife has been having an 11 month affair, advice needed

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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 10:32 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Had a friend call me today, and ask me a pretty simple question.

He said "if my wide did this to me, what would you say?!"

I couldn’t argue, a few months back I would have told him to leave her. How could I not?! That’s always been the line drawn in the sand for not only me, but my wife as well. However, I NEVER thought I’d have to face this, ever.


None of us did. And really, I don't believe that ANYONE can truly understand what it is to be intimately betrayed until it happens to them, nor can the know how they will react to it. Their prediction about what they would do certainly must feel as valid as my own did.. before it happened to me. No one was more surprised than me to find that I was even a little bit open to R. I had always thought of myself as being sure that I would leave.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should stay. I'm not saying you should go. I'm just saying that your friend, while well meaning, doesn't get it. This didn't happen to him. It happened to you.

My wife kept coming up to me as we are walking the neighborhood saying things like "I love you" , "you are so handsome", "I am so lucky to have you as a husband". It all made me sick. I just kept my distance from her.

It's completely okay for you to set limits with your WW about her messaging. If it makes you uncomfortable to hear that kind of talk from her just now, tell her to back off. She needs to give you as much space as you need right now and if she can't understand that.. tough. Maybe she is earnest when she says those things. Maybe she's attempting to manipulate your emotions. Either way, if it's not what you want to hear right now, tell her to stop. You can actually tell a lot about how much or how little your WS is attuned to your pain if they're LISTENING to what you say to them. That kind of talk would have set my teeth on edge so close to dday.

How can you actually live with this.. Yes, it will hurt SO badly to leave her and file for D. But, can I ever really respect myself if I stay? Won’t I always feel like a weak man.

No one gets to dictate what masculinity means to you. YOU decide that, and you don't answer to anyone else about it, only yourself. IMHO, the strongest, most masculine men are the ones who understand that. They are not pliable things, shoved into someone else's mold of patriarchal programming. They decide for themselves who they are and what's important to them. Again, not recommending R over D or vice versa, only that you make your choices solely on what YOU think is right for you.

posts: 4676   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8696679
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KingofNothing ( member #71775) posted at 3:23 AM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Ark, I posted earlier, before reading the progression of your story. TBH I thought after ten pages, there would be some dramatic denouement (as there often is), but I'm not surprised there isn't. Everyone is different. I certainly took my time at arriving at a decision, who am I to judge? I think what's been said, particularly by Bigger and Stevens, is wise counsel. Trust me, they often counsel finding a way, if there IS a way. Yet, I've seen them admit that some hurts can't be healed. In my experience, the longer the betrayal, the bigger the ask for forgiveness. A Year long affair-- that's a mighty huge ask. Anything's possible, but dang, you're a better man than I was if you manage it. Perhaps I would feel different if she had volunteered the information, but no, she was caught.

My wife kept coming up to me as we are walking the neighborhood saying things like "I love you" , "you are so handsome", "I am so lucky to have you as a husband". It all made me sick. I just kept my distance from her.

So the question for you is-- how does her clumsy attempts at salvaging your destroyed ego, your emasculated pride, right the balance of a year long affair... while she was pregnant? I'm with you when you say

can I ever really respect myself if I stay? Won’t I always feel like a weak man

.

Honestly I don't know you or her but my gut feeling is.. no. I would never forgive, never forget. I've experienced long term betrayal, myself. I was a very affable man before it happened. Helpful, kind, and generous with my time. Being with someone who could easily give your wife lessons in sheer magnitude of destruction has made me cynical, mean-spirited, and reflective, and I am only no arriving at equilibrium. But that's me. I should have started IC almost immediately. I held off, out of what.. pride? Don't be like me. You deserve happiness, too. My prediction is you are very likely to be miserable for a very long time unless drastic life changes happen in your marriage. Are you willing to bet your future (and more years of your life) that this is going to be a happy ending? That's really the big decision here, nothing more than that. Nobody on here, nobody on Reddit or any other resource (including IC) will tell you "this is your answer".. because that's going to be your decision. Good luck with this. Don't hesitate to reach out and keep us updated.

Rex Nihilo, the King of Nothing
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“If you’re going through hell, keep going. Just please stop screaming, it’s not good for morale.”
— Winston Churchill

BS 3 DDays/Attempted R, it failed. In a better place

posts: 774   ·   registered: Oct. 7th, 2019   ·   location: East Coast USA
id 8696708
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SquirrelFace ( member #52946) posted at 5:30 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

If you stay, two years from now, the grief from the death of your love for your wife will have subsided and you will only be left with anger. Anger and disbelief that she still doesn't get it. Seven-ish years from now she will probably have another affair and blame it on your inability to "get over it".

Your wife doesn't get it. She truly doesn't care about your grief, because she doesn't understand it. A man's love for his wife is an alien concept to her.

We tried for months to have a baby. And it just feels like it never mattered. Like the baby didn’t matter. Our marriage, our 8 year old. We were also looking at houses, thank God the two offers we out down got outbid.

That's because she took your commitment for granted. Once she obtained it, it was thrown in a box and put in storage. She doesn't honor *your* commitment.

I don’t think I can ever forget what she’s done. Everything she did for him can now never be special for me. Sex, hugs, kissing, all of it. It’s now tainted.

Yep. And forget about your wedding anniversaries. They will never be special again. The goofy things at weddings where they celebrate the marriages of the guests. A sick joke.

Then she went on to text about all the things we can still have.. like going to Disney world with the new baby. Buying a new house and watching her run down the halls. Taking our oldest daughter to graduation together… all that. And how "worth it" it will all be if we stay together.

All those are things that have to do with being a father. Nothing about being a husband. She is only thinking about what you bring to the table as a father/provider. She doesn't love you for who you are, she only loves what you provide her and the kids. Even if she didn't love you for you (and believe me, women can be very good at staying in marriages with a man they don't love), she didn't even think about losing these things before the affair. And right now she isn't even thinking 40 years down the road as married, retired grandparents. When she could have sat back and enjoyed her children and grandchildren with their father/grandfather.

She threw it all away.

Or maybe that was her plan. Her thoughts of raising your kids together didn't go past graduation. That's interesting. Almost like that was a goal.

I feel for you, man. I really do. I wish there was something I could do speed up the grief process, but it takes time. Make sure to take care of yourself daily. You are deep in the suck right now, but believe me it does get better.

[This message edited by SquirrelFace at 5:33 PM, Thursday, November 4th]

posts: 52   ·   registered: Apr. 26th, 2016
id 8696769
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 6:18 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

My ex-wife was having an affair at the same time we were trying for a second child. The utter callousness of her behavior still resonates with me decades later. Her justification was that her AP had a vasectomy. Who knows if that is true or not. Luckily, I discovered the affair and ended the marriage before we had a second child. What was your wife's excuse regarding the chance that her AP could have been the father of your baby? If there is anything that exemplifies her complete lack of empathy, love, devotion, caring, decency toward you, it is the fact that she seemed to not give a fuck who the biological father would have been. Is this the type of person you wish to spend the rest of your wife with? I've been through what has happened to you. In my case, I was foolish enough to take the ex-wife back after her first affair. Six miserable years later I caught her again. Don't be me. Think long and hard before you give her a second chance. No way in hell would I give her the time of day now. But I speak from experience.

posts: 456   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8696779
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:46 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

can I ever really respect myself if I stay? Won’t I always feel like a weak man

I think you should reframe the question, and this is where two short books can help you reframe: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "The Way of the Superior Man" (with your wife's clutzy love bombing attempts, you could also lump in "The Manipulated Man" but that is harder to come by).

In any case, those two books will help you reframe it less about whether you are "weak" or whether you can respect yourself. In fact, it takes a tremendous amount of strength to stay. That is not weakness. It's the strength of a hero standing in the gap as the barbarian hordes come at him.

And this is where the innate, natural and healthy male inclination for self sacrifice can work against you, in this case. It can potentially override your self preservation instinct.

Self preservation should be the the order of the day, not self sacrifice.

Think about that. Find a redoubt. A safe place where you can heal. I mean this both literally and figuratively.

If your marriage isn't that place, then be done with it.

As far as reframing this negative self talk about "weakness ,' please read the books. But here's a short version: Instead, start asking yourself what YOU want out of life. What is your mission as a man, a relatively young man, with plenty of drive, testosterone, and energy to make the life you want? Your mission -- that thing you wanted to be as an even younger man before you found yourself hamstrung in a marriage to a Proverbs 30:20 woman -- that's YOU. It's your calling. Any woman, especially this woman, should be secondary to that. You don't sacrifice it for her or anyone else.

There's a great story about Ray Bradbury, the amazing prolific writer who was still churning out prose in his 90s with boundless energy and who wrote hundreds of short stories and countless novels, tells about his boyhood. He let some other children tease him out of his comic book collection. He grew sad and realized it was because he had let others dictate for him his passions. He never let it happen again. He wrote, "You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can't sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live."

The author of "The Way of the Superior Man" says "Closing down in the midst of pain is denial of a man’s true nature." Now that would be weakness. What you are doing is not weakness.

You're in a state of trauma and shock, but I want to give you some hope here. And there's really no better time for you to start pondering these things. You're about to pass through what Carl Jung called a rite of passage known as liminality.

Go through it. A lot of us still find ourselves moving through it. It's ok. Find out the kind of man you want to be. If you decide she earns the privilege of following you, great. Note well, I said she gets to follow you. That's not some chauvinistic bullshit, it's real. You could just as easily go into monk mode and do without a woman, especially her. It's not about forcing her into a meek role, it's about whether she now honors you and your priorities FIRST.

She lost the right to dictate anything, basically for a lifetime.

If she won't do that or is incapable, well, frankly throw her overboard and move on.

She's lost the privilege of simpering around you with false flattery.

Find that young man inside of you who was full of piss and vinegar and prepared to do things, make things, achieve things. And then make that your life. Your life, not hers.

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:53 PM, Thursday, November 4th]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4387   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8696784
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SquirrelFace ( member #52946) posted at 7:26 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

If there is anything that exemplifies her complete lack of empathy, love, devotion, caring, decency toward you, it is the fact that she seemed to not give a fuck who the biological father would have been.


Exactly.

When she got pregnant, she didn't know who the father was. The fact it was yours was just luck.

In the age of "23andMe" her plan was for you to raise another man's child. She either gave zero forethought to how badly this could end up 20 years later or didn't care.

Even if she knew with 100% certainty it was your child she was carrying, she let another man have sex with her with your child growing in her belly the entire time?

Your wife is truly a complete failure of a spouse.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Apr. 26th, 2016
id 8696791
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:15 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

I will never understand how a pregnant woman can have sex with their side piece. They are literally risking the life if their child.

posts: 3780   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8696798
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:59 PM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

In some respects, I can see how it would be difficult for a WS to express their love for the BS who is needs validation but then rebukes this affection as insincere... sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't predicament.

However, this was downright cringey:

My wife kept coming up to me as we are walking the neighborhood saying things like "I love you" , "you are so handsome", "I am so lucky to have you as a husband". It all made me sick. I just kept my distance from her.

The trick-or-treating outing was about having fun with your kids and making their holiday as normal as possible. Instead, she basically held you hostage (because you couldn't really argue or make a scene with the kids or in public) to love bomb you. If you're not familiar with term love-bombing, look it up because it describes what she's doing to a T. This was an event that was supposed to be about the kids, but she made it all about her.

The next time she love bombs you, tell her calmly: "I really don't believe anything you have to say about your feelings for me and I'm not interested in listening to you feel sorry for yourself or self-flagellating for my benefit. If you want me to know that you're sorry and that you're committed to our marriage, you will have to do it with actions instead of words... and without any guarantee that I will choose to stay married to you, because I honestly haven't decided yet."

If she asks you what she needs to do, tell her she will need to figure it out herself. You don't have the time or the emotional bandwidth to figure this out for her. She made this mess; she needs to clean it up.

Lastly, I do agree with others that there is something exceptionally repugnant about cheating while pregnant. It's like defiling herself, her marriage, and your child simultaneously. She's lucky you can tolerate being in the same room with her without vomiting.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 9:04 PM, Thursday, November 4th]

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: 551   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8696806
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longsadstory1952 ( member #29048) posted at 2:44 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

Ark. It’s starting to feel like we are all saying the same things. Your wife is despicable, but you know that. Anything we can do for you?

posts: 1091   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2010
id 8696861
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 Ark04l (original poster new member #79489) posted at 3:38 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I want to say thank you to all of you that have been writing in this post. I come here so often and re read your comments. In the worst of moments, you all help me breath.

So tomorrow I have a wedding to go too. One of my good friends is getting married. I’m not super excited about going, obviously for the wedding part and the memories it will bring me. My wife was supposed to attend. But I obviously told her she isn’t going. But I also have not worn my ring. And I refuse too at this point.

But now she’s asking if I’m going to try talking to other women. Asked if I would have sex with anyone else. I told her I wasn’t actively perusing anyone. Right now the thought of that makes me sick. But I told her if I did I wouldn’t feel guilty at all.

She is now saying if I wanted to do that, we should separate and probably get a divorce.

Is it just me, or is that fucked? How can someone do something like that to you, then turn around and say you can’t. Or it won’t work?! Maybe my mind is just so fogged up right now I can’t wrap my head around it. But it blows me away, how hypocritical that is.

Anyway.. I’m back to the angry. Called her names tonight. Lots and lots of triggers for me today. I went to therapy on my own. But it was an hour of me telling the whole story, so no real resolve. But the next time I will be focusing on what I can do to heal. And where I want to go with the therapy

posts: 44   ·   registered: Oct. 16th, 2021
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 3:47 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I hope you can actually enjoy your time away this weekend.


How did she respond when you pushed back on her statement?

While I don't think it's good to go out and have a revenge affair, her response is telling. I don't think she should feel good about the prospect of you with another woman but you would think she should feel bad enough from the havoc she's created to keep her trap shut. It shows she's still thinking about herself first.

Perhaps you should have called her bluff. Not about the RA but about the separation.

posts: 405   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8696870
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beb252 ( member #78948) posted at 8:05 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I am amazed at your WW's reasoning. It seems like she's implying that it is okay for her to have sex with another man and it is not a reason for you to get divorced. But when it comes to you, the moment you look into another girl, it's a reason for divorce.

posts: 398   ·   registered: Jun. 14th, 2021
id 8696894
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:33 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

Ark - my guess is that she’s posting on another site and soliciting advice. Her textbook response to you about you having an RA is a tell, in my opinion.

I would respond to her that your personal business is yours alone at this point, and if she wants to file for D go right ahead.

I must say that your WW is a piece of work. I can’t imagine that she wasn’t this person before her A. I’m not advocating either way, but staying with a cheater just because you have young children is a recipe for a life of unhappiness.

Please take a step back a try to look objectively at this person who is your wife. All I can say is wow!

posts: 175   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8696896
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 11:47 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

She is now saying if I wanted to do that, we should separate and probably get a divorce.

Ark,

This is one of the ONLY things that she has said so far that is sound and reasonable. As a married couple, you DON'T emotionally or physically involve yourself with someone else. So, while it may sound hypocritical, it is still a rational statement.

My real concern, probably along with most others, is that your WW DOESN'T understand the hypocrisy. Her mindset is still in wayward mode, big time, and she has no idea of the damage she has wrought on you and the family.

So, to help her 'understand' you better, I think it would be a good idea to fully agree to her above quote. Simply tell her: "I agree with what you said. If ANYONE in a marriage was to engage with others, it would be a logical reason to separate, and probably divorce. That is why I have been heavily considering doing exactly what you said."

Ark, until you emotionally detach yourself far enough to look at this situation from a little distance, you are going to keep yourself stuck. You are newly betrayed, and in a ton of pain, but I can almost guarantee you will start to slowly feel better when you take some of your power back. By that, I mean that you should really work on getting yourself to a point that you are mentally fine with either divorcing or reconciling with her. Until you shed those fears, you will keep yourself hostage. And with a spouse, who at least to this point, is a terrible candidate for reconciliation, you need to have options available. I can't tell you how many betrayed members join here in the hopes that things will return to the way that they were(raises hand). It doesn't work that way. In spite of all the fucking unfairness that has been piled on you, it is ONLY you that will get yourself out of this. That starts with taking back control of your life.

And by the way--You have ALWAYS had control of your actions in life. It is the others who you incorporate into this who you have no control over.

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: 3853   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8696900
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 11:49 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

Definitely keep going to the IC. Give it at least 6 weeks to see if it’s helping or not, and that will get you thru Christmas. Ask if you can go 2 times a week if you can arrange it with your schedule.

I also could not wrap my head around the insanity of my xwh cheating and the lame reasoning. I ended up going to a treatment center in their 2 week outpatient program. Almost everyone there was there bc their spouse cheated on them!!! So, do not for a moment feel alone in the mind bending aspect. We get it.... also on SI someone said we will never "understand" it bc we don’t think/behave like that. Cheaters (for the most part) live in a different realm.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5371   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8696901
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 12:09 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I read a quick, easy read about tough love when your spouse cheats. Tough love as in our reaction need to be a reaction of epic proportions- that the cheater has most likely crossed the line of respect with us over and over and this is another example of it. That we absolutely to not need to accept this behavior from anyone-especially a spouse. The author is a Christian author and says the absolute worst thing is to rug sweep the situation -trying to be "nice". shocked This guy woke me up!!!!

He does kinda want to marriage to succeed in the long run, so the second part was about that, but he really puts the emphasis on making sure you are being treated right and your ws has their head on straight before even considering staying together.
The book is Love Must Be Tough by Dr James Dobson .

By chapter 2 I knew what needed to be done-and it was about the time my ws was waking up from his brain fog and wanted to come back., I told him not now. That I wanted it all!! He was to get the hell away from me, get into ic and after 6 months I might consider talking about it, but I wasn’t sure. I had him served with divorce papers bc I wasn’t playing.

Well, 6 months of IC was too much work for my cheating xh to do to save his family and we divorced. My kids grew up with me being their parent they could count on. I now believe it’s best to come from a broken home rather than grow up in one.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5371   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8696905
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M1965 ( member #57009) posted at 12:40 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

But now she’s asking if I’m going to try talking to other women. Asked if I would have sex with anyone else. I told her I wasn’t actively perusing anyone. Right now the thought of that makes me sick. But I told her if I did I wouldn’t feel guilty at all.

She is now saying if I wanted to do that, we should separate and probably get a divorce.

Is it just me, or is that fucked? How can someone do something like that to you, then turn around and say you can’t. Or it won’t work?! Maybe my mind is just so fogged up right now I can’t wrap my head around it. But it blows me away, how hypocritical that is.

Ark,

I worked with a woman who had been having an affair with an older married man for a few years. From what she said, it sounded like she had cheated when she had had boyfriends in the past. One time I asked her what she would do if someone cheated on her, and she said she would not put up with it, and she would dump them! Like you, my head was spinning at the hypocrisy and double-standards of that! She basically said that she knew she had no right to feel that way, but it was how she felt. Some people in life are happy to dish it out, but not to take it.

This is not a balanced or conciliatory response, but next time your wife asks if you are going to chase or sleep with other women, you could always say, "No. I'm not you".

To be honest, your wife sounds like a very entitled person. Our thoughts are with you.

posts: 1213   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8696910
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:30 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

How can someone do something like that to you, then turn around and say you can’t

Entitlement.

posts: 3780   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8696915
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 2:19 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

So sorry for you. You are in an illogical situation that if you think too much about it, your head might explode.

Typical cheater response by the way. It’s not surprising.

What options do you have?

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10890   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8696923
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 2:51 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

She's not the one who should threaten you with divorce at this stage. Moreover, she does this by assuming that you want to have an imaginary affaire. Thus, she will equate your position with hers. Her creativity deserves applause.

You haven't filed yet, right? You shouldn't keep yourself in limbo any longer.

posts: 563   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8696963
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