Newest Member: loyaltylost

Just Found Out :
Waiting too long to confront has it's own set of problems and being triggered is just one.

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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 1:56 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Gently…
Since this is more of a retrospective thread than an ongoing active infidelity I think it’s OK to look back at what you did and what you share as your thought process back then:
OK – so you held back from 2005 to 2007 because of the kids.

Kids can be a great reason to put effort into reconciling. But they are not a good reason to remain in a miserable marriage.
I don’t know your exact circumstances but theoretically your kids were in a household impacted by the stress and strange interaction between husband and wife caused by infidelity from 2001 to 2007. Maybe you two managed to hide it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the kids sensed something was wrong or off. Keep in mind our kids model their future relationships on what they experienced at home, so I personally think remaining married "for the kids" is generally an excuse for inactivity rather than the correct (as in the donate a kidney-level) action.

This "for the kids" being an excuse rather than a reason is further implied by the passing of time since 2007 with no further action.

Now – I’m not saying you should have divorced or even that this would have ended in divorce. But I truly believe that if you had confronted back in 2001 you would probably be in a better place today. With or without your wife.

IMHO yet another instance where my tagline applies…

Just remember this: You can decide to end the cause of the misery now.
Once again: I am not saying you should divorce. But I do think you need to confront your wife about the affair. You need to get some closure so you can decide if you want this marriage or want out. I do think a lot can be read into them ending the affair and she still being married to you, but for your own sanity I sense you need to establish that whatever emotions she had for OM are dead and that you are her sole partner. Or if you two are both equally miserable and both deserve to find happiness elsewhere.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10017   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8699617
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 Gentleman1201 (original poster new member #79567) posted at 2:39 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Thank you to everyone for some very thoughtful posts. I have a lot to think about and maybe my triggers are telling me it is time to start to take steps for individual counseling for myself and perhaps couples counseling. I know my wife has thought she pulled off the deception and when she finds out what I know there will be a huge confrontation and I need to be emotionally ready. I appreciate everyone's help.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2021   ·   location: Virginia
id 8699620
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SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 10:57 PM on Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Huge confrontation... I think any kind of confrontation would be good for you.

You could lower the temperature of the confrontation by having her review the evidence on her own e.g. You're out of the house, leave a folder with evidence on the kitchen table and text her she needs to read it, you'll discuss when you get home.

This has been such a long time coming though, I think I'd want to look her right in the eye when I disclosed I knew. I don't think there's any way around it, your marriage is long overdue for a huge confrontation.

Or reveal in front of a marriage counselor. Warn the counselor ahead of time what's coming. You'd have to generalize to your wife why you've arranged the meeting.

posts: 386   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8699704
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 6:40 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

She will not cooperate or take you seriously unless she believes you are ready to divorce her (bluff if necessary) rather than tolerate any further lies or withholding of information. Otherwise she'll take this to the grave.

It's typical for cheaters who spent the night in a hotel room to swear they just kissed or just talked or slept on the floor. It's the prospect of facing a polygraph that defeats them.

Without a doubt face to face confrontation will be dramatic (especially since she believes she got away with it).

However, IMO the face to face confrontation is part of the process of healing (for both of you).

On the other hand, with the evidence you have and the years that passed, IMO there's no advantage for you to ambush her.

Consider giving her a heads up that when you come home this evening you'll be discussing her affair with xyz.

Inform her that you had all the evidence you needed to divorce but stayed for the kids - and whether you stay for her going forward depends on her willingness to admit to the truth about her relationship with xyz.

And while the truth will certainly be challenging to work through, any further lies or withholding of information will guarantee divorce.

Finally, in order to control the damage, a cheater tends to only admit to what they think you already know. Generally, they reveal more information about the affair when they don't know what your evidence is or the source of your evidence. You could even imply you hired a PI.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 6:47 PM, Tuesday, November 23rd]

posts: 2452   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8699822
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 11:43 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

…and when she finds out what I know there will be a huge confrontation and I need to be emotionally ready…

Only if she has something you want (more details). Then she has leverage. She’s lived a decades-long lie. She will know how to use that leverage.

Otherwise, you can just skip the games and tell her you know. Give her enough info so she knows you know a hell of a lot more than she ever thought you knew, but don’t give it all away. She doesn’t deserve to know what you know. She has no right to that information.

You’ll be tempted to use it to manipulate her. To get her to feel a certain way, act in a certain way. My rec is to not do that. She is better at that game than you are. Instead, you want to test her. She if she shows feeling of a certain way, if she chooses to act in a certain way on her own. Or if she lays on her own manipulation and carefully ratchets her lies, admitting to only what she knows you know.

If she does this, then you’ll have a decision to make. She will have shown you who she is. Believe her.

Sending strength!

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2750   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8699872
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UKgirl ( member #17062) posted at 3:51 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

I don't know if you have done anything yet Gent, but I’m replying to your post because your timeline is very close to mine.

My WH’s LTA was with his ex-fiancee and lasted from 2001-2006, she lived a couple of hours away and was nothing to do with the rest of our lives. 13yrs later, he had another, shorter, affair with another ex. She lives in a different part of the country, also about 2hrs away. Dday was Sept 2020. Physical distance meant that the affairs could be kept secret as there was little likelihood to encounter anyone he knew. His "excuse" first time around was he was incredibly depressed and the second time that he felt a failure, he had failed me. I felt I was railroaded into selling our family home, was uprooted to another part of the country for 10mths before he realised this was never going to work and we came back. Unfortunately we bought a bit of a money pit 270yr old cottage that has cost over £100K in the four years to date. We live in a sort of in-house separation. So that’s my background in a nutshell.

The issue has always been that he doesn’t talk about how he is feeling. And yet he was willing to open up to these ex’s – to a degree. When it comes to affairs, people tend to say what they think the AP wants them to say. So he would do me down, tell complete untruths, and let them feel that they were the ones he could talk to. Affairs are about the AP holding up the mirror so the WS can see and preen and strut their stuff so the AP can melt in their presence and think how wonderful they are.

WH confessed and so things were different in that respect, but I also had children who were at important stages in education – two were about to go back to their final year at their respective colleges and the youngest was about to start high school. I did not want WH's crappy choices to affect the entire future of three of my four boys. They were the most important thing to me. And then, in the summer of 2007, DS#2 announced he was taking his graduate overdraft and going to Australia for a year. DS#1 came home for a while to save up and went off to join him. And things just drifted on. The three older boys went off to New Zealand and my youngest was bereft without his brothers. My Dad got seriously ill and died about 10mths later – I couldn’t cope with all that and divorce. But things seemed okay between WH and me. Until he got this bee in his bonnet about moving out of the big house and starting "afresh" somewhere new. So what I am saying is that it’s very easy to stay in limboland and I totally understand where you find yourself now.

Inevitably you have withdrawn over time due to your suspicions and mistrust of your wife. You still suspect and mistrust her. But you will never know what happened, not really. You can deduce, suspect, put two and two together and come up with four – or maybe five or eight or 263. They wrote to each other and you have copies, but again, you don’t actually know. You weren’t there. And that’s the crux of the matter. You don’t know.

I think it is only fair to your wife that you bring it out into the open. You don’t have to straight away and how you do it is up to you. But however you can see or want this to pan out, I think you owe at least the truth as to the reasons why. Life IS short and too short to stay unhappy because of unresolved issues and an inability or unwillingness to talk. And it won’t be just one conversation, so I would suggest that you find a very good counsellor or therapist to guide you through. Perhaps go with your wife to a couple counsellor or therapist and see what comes out. But if you do this, I wouldn’t discuss too much until you get there for the first session.

I’m very sorry that things have just faded away. Don’t leave things any longer. Be proactive in reclaiming your future back out from limbo. Keep us updated.

UKg smile

[This message edited by UKgirl at 3:52 PM, Friday, November 26th]

Affair1: Dday 30/07/06 LTA: 5yrs ex-fiancee Affair2: Dday 04/09/20 9mths another XHSgf.
Me/BS, still young. Him/WS, old. 4 grown boys
Having an affair because you are unhappy is like eating Ex-lax because you are hungry - unfound's mom

posts: 4038   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2007   ·   location: UK
id 8700344
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Buffer ( member #71664) posted at 1:59 AM on Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Brother just tell her, then show her. Then D her.
Why stay with a roommate?
One day at a time.

Buffer

posts: 1207   ·   registered: Sep. 24th, 2019   ·   location: Australia
id 8700452
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