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Just Found Out :
Hi everyone! New here and first post

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 64YearsYoung (original poster new member #79615) posted at 4:19 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Hi everyone. I really appreciate finding this site. I’ve spent some time reading others’ stories but this is my first post.
My story may be a little different than most. I have been married 40 years. I am 64, she is 62. We have a great relationship. We are financially successful, we have our health, we have two grown daughters and three grandkids. We are best friends, true soulmates, and our sex life would be the envy of couples half our age. So, what’s the problem?

A couple of years ago, I started revisiting some old memories. I won’t call them repressed memories, because they’ve always been there, but I began reliving those memories through the eyes of a much older, wiser man than the young, naïve 20-year-old I was at the time.

Before we were married, we lived together for two years while in college. This was my first real sexual relationship, as I was somewhat of a late bloomer. In my mind at least, this relationship was exclusive and monogamous. But, looking back now, there were some pretty obvious signs that I just didn’t pick up on. The more I thought about this, I began to piece together different pieces of the puzzle, including what I now believe were at least three different guys she slept with during that time. One of them was my best friend. This is a friend that I keep up with regularly although we rarely see each other as we live in different parts of the country.

This began eating away at me and it just won’t go away. It’s snowballed inside me until it has just become overwhelming. It haunts my sleepless nights and ties my stomach into knots during the day. I have lost a lot of weight and I was already pretty thin. I feel I am literally driving myself insane and may actually doing myself physical harm. I secretly started IC a while ago, and she has tried to coach me in mindfulness but I guess I’m not very good at it yet.

Then a week ago, I finally snapped and said something. To say she was shocked is the understatement of the year. At first, she denied everything and said I was crazy, but when I started to present my evidence, she lashed out and said "Well, you slept with Lisa!", which absolutely didn’t happen. She said "I know you did because you told me". Of course I didn’t tell her that because a) it didn’t happen, and b) I don’t think I would have told her even if it had. When I continued to deny it, she switched to "Well it was Kathy then, wasn’t it?" Again, didn’t happen.

Then I broke down, like nothing I have never before experienced, I was curled up on the floor, convulsing with sobs. I could barely breathe, much less speak for what seemed like an eternity. I think she was genuinely taken aback by my reaction that she got down and hugged me and held me and I eventually recovered some semblance of sanity.

She has committed to work through this and I think she is terrified that I might actually leave her, even though I have assured her that I won’t. We have slowly begun discussing things. What I find puzzling is the difference in our memories concerning even just basic timelines and circumstances. Maybe that’s just to be expected after 40+ years, even though I feel my memories are as sharp as if they were last week. At this point she is mostly listening and hasn’t said much. The cynic in me would say she first wants to find out what all I’ve figured out, so she knows how much she doesn’t have to confess to any more than she has to. She has said she will see my counselor if I want her to.

She has told me that she has "done some terrible things" and that she is afraid that if she tells me everything it will change the way I feel about her. To quote Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men: "You want the truth – you can’t handle the truth." I do wonder how the truth could be any worse than my imagination. I do believe she is deeply ashamed of something. I can read her pretty well after 40 years.

Anyway, I have some some random thoughts I’d like feedback on:

1.Why can’t I just let it go? It doesn’t change the life we’ve built over the last 40 years, or the truly wonderful situation we are in today. It was so long ago, and isn’t it just kids doing what kids do before they get their stuff sorted out?

2.How do I stop obsessing over it? I can’t turn my brain off. I lay awake at night and read or watch TV until my eyes finally close on their own, but then I jar back awake with my vivid imagination racing out of control. I lay next to her as she sleeps and I resent that she can sleep when I can’t. I think I’m lucky to get 3-4 hours a night, and I know I’m harming myself physically, but I don’t want to drug myself.

3.I’ve read more than once on here that "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater". If that’s true, should I be concerned about what might have gone on after we got married? I now realize from reading on here that I’ve spent most of married life being "hyper-vigilant" even if I didn’t know that’s what to call it. There have been a handful of times in our marriage when I felt uneasy about some situation, but I always just let it go. I have no real evidence of anything, but have I just been too naïve?

4.If she goes to see my counselor, how would that work? Does she first go on her own, to tell her version of things? I assume whatever she says stays with the counselor and so does everything I say. How then, does the counselor work it from there? Does she prod

Anyway, kind of a long-winded story, but there it is. Thanks for your patience.

posts: 1   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021
id 8699804
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

It is NOT true "once a cheater always a cheater". My H cheated in me 2X (and I suspect some additional emotional affairs as well that he won’t admit) but he hasn’t been behaving like that in 8 years.

Second you can both go to your counselor together. She doesn’t have to go alone and spill her guts. She can do it with you & the counselor if that is what is best for you.

Here’s the test - do you want to know? You’ve suspected snd believe she’s cheated. You have established she is a cheater. Or was a cheater.

But what if she made terrible choices in her 20s but has been faithful and monogamous for the last 39 years? Is that something you can accept?

The fact that she "claims" you slept with someone is a typical cheater tactic. Blame the betrayed spouse. Her line "well you did it" means she slept with another guy. Not sure how many but it appears she did.

Communication was an issue - she suspected you and you suspected her. Not sure why it’s hitting you this hard now but it is gut wrenching and life changing when you get hit with the infidelity trauma.

It comes down to acceptance and forgiveness. It takes time to reach this point for many people. It took me 6 years to truly forgive my H for planning to Divorce me during his mid life crisis affair.

Only you know what you can do. I hope you can reconcile and be happy. I’m sorry you are in so much pain. It does get better but slowly.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10894   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8699805
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Welcome, sorry you had to join us.

She has committed to work through this and I think she is terrified that I might actually leave her, even though I have assured her that I won’t. We have slowly begun discussing things. What I find puzzling is the difference in our memories concerning even just basic timelines and circumstances. Maybe that’s just to be expected after 40+ years, even though I feel my memories are as sharp as if they were last week. At this point she is mostly listening and hasn’t said much. The cynic in me would say she first wants to find out what all I’ve figured out, so she knows how much she doesn’t have to confess to any more than she has to.

Has she written a timeline? Is she willing to verify it by polygraph?

[This message edited by asc1226 at 10:32 AM, November 23rd (Tuesday)]

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 391   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8699806
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Organic2003 ( member #69811) posted at 4:39 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

(((64YearsYoung)))

What you are going through is actually quite common here at SI. For you this betrayal was yesterday, for her it was years ago and she would love to rugsweep it. DO NOT DO THAT

Reading once a cheater always a cheater may not have been the best start, but IMO cheating is addictive.

Can you call your friend? Do you think he would tell the truth? You NEED truth in order to forgive. She will need to tell you the truth then you can start working the long road to R (reconciling) and forgiveness.

This man is not your friend he must be cut out of your life, if it is true that he had sex with your wife.

I always recommend starting with the healing library her on SI and read a short manual on affair recovery.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair
A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful
By: Linda J. MacDonald

SI is full of members who have your experience and many will respond. So many people here with great wisdom.

You have been heard
Organic

There is opportunity in EVERYTHING

posts: 150   ·   registered: Feb. 19th, 2019
id 8699810
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 5:09 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Sorry for the situation you are in.
Your impression that she was going to confess just enough for you made me think that she had other infidelities too, probably more recent.
If I'm not mistaken, you think all this happened in the pre-marital period and it ended there, and she doesn't tell you any more than that, but she doesn't approve either, right?

No matter how much she tells you, you will never be sure that you know all the truth. What will put you at ease is the polygraph, which will serve as an objective and tangible confirmation that she is telling the whole truth.

So ask her for a detailed timeline of her infidelities throughout your relationship, including before and during marriage. Don't forget to say that you need the absolute truth even it will hurt you and the timeline will be subject to the polygraph.

I hope the truth isn't more terrible than you think. Good luck.

posts: 564   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8699814
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 6:16 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

She has told me that she has "done some terrible things" and that she is afraid that if she tells me everything it will change the way I feel about her.


First, your wife needs to believe you will divorce her if she does not fully cooperate (bluff if you have to). Otherwise she will take it to the grave.

The prospect of facing a polygraph tends to discourage further lies or withholding of information.
Offer to take one yourself with respect to her accusations.

Consider this reply to her:

Your fear is understandable. While telling me everything (before and during our marriage) will certainly make it more challenging to work through this, withholding information will 100% guarantee divorce.

posts: 2452   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8699818
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 6:44 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Hi 64YearsYoung,

What I find puzzling is the difference in our memories concerning even just basic timelines and circumstances. Maybe that’s just to be expected after 40+ years, even though I feel my memories are as sharp as if they were last week.

My husband and I are together 43 years+. His LTA was in 2018-19. So we go wayyyy back. So do our memories. One constant is that we remember the same events from our distant past differently: dates, places, feelings, people, perceptions....

Another thing to really understand is that older memories are just that...memories. And gently here, but they are not facts, unless one has a photographic memory or a recorded history.

From your writing I sense that trusting your wife is an issue that has been with you for a while. And lately resurfaced with a vengeance and along with it ruminations, and a host of sad powerful emotions.

I support your efforts for continued counselling. Kindly, dig within yourself..."what obstacles are preventing me at 64 from trusting my wife today"?

I hope you find calm and please, please take care of your health.

Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.

posts: 249   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8699824
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 6:50 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I’ve read more than once on here that "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater". If that’s true, should I be concerned about what might have gone on after we got married?

This site was founded by a couple that dealt with infidelity. Your host – Mangled Heart – is a betrayed husband. You probably had to pass by a memorial to his deeply missed wife Deeply Scared who was the life and the soul of this site until she passed away 2016.
I’m not chastising you. You are a new poster and of course you have all these thoughts and worries like we all did. However, I often wonder about those that have been here for some time and constantly insist "once a cheater always a cheater". To me it’s like inviting yourself to an open house and then criticizing the free drinks and snacks on offer.

People can change. I don’t know if your wife did, but there is no rule or law that says that if she cheated back in the days the same issues that made her think that was a great idea are still prevalent in her thought-process.

I think the imagination can do more damage than the truth. I think that is the message you need to convey to your wife. That no matter what she did then you are fully capable of imagining worse things. That while you don’t know the truth you are capable of thinking she had affairs with your friends, partook in orgies and whatever. That the truth will always do less damage because the truth is what it is.
I think it’s also important to get the message across that doubt and suspicion will kill any chance you two have of a fulfilled marriage. You two might remain married, but it won’t be the marriage either of you WANT.

If you are willing to then make her this commitment: If she’s willing to trust you with a verifiable truth you will commit to not divorcing, blaming and to working at reconciliation for six months. That’s not really a long time – it’s not as if discovering an affair 20 years ago will force you into immediate action. For those six months you two work at getting the truth to a stage where you are certain you have all you need.

"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 8699826
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SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 8:36 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Hi pal, sorry you're here.

She has told me that she has "done some terrible things" and that she is afraid that if she tells me everything it will change the way I feel about her.


Ya that doesn't sound good. Nobody wants to hear their wife say that.

Question - so are you torn up over the 3 affairs she had while you dating, or, are you torn up thinking she kept cheating on you after you were married... or even both things? The "done some terrible things" that might mean more than cheating during dating.

You're getting IC, I think that's a good idea. Maybe some regular hard exercise where you can burn off your anger and frustration.

If that doesn't suit, I think you're looking at pulling out the big guns. Polygraph might get you some closure. Might get you a really pissed of 62 yr old wife, too, embarrassed to be subjugated to one.

If your wife refuses to come clean about her cheating, protecting herself. And you're fed up, feeling really, really resentful? Go out and get laid yourself. Most people here will disagree with that advice, but it's an alternative to stewing about this maybe for the rest of your life, on the floor in tears about what she did.

posts: 386   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8699842
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director106 ( new member #75263) posted at 9:39 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I'm sorry you're going thru this. We have been married 54 years and he still won't admit to what I know was affair 20 years ago. I too don't sleep and still resent he does. It has taken me a long time but I know I have to accept what is or divorce at 71, which neither of us wants. A lot of people will disagree, but a polygraph is a waste of money. I know too many people who admitted they lied and passed. IC will help. Don't make yourself miserable over something that may have happened over 40 years ago. You will never have the full truth. God bless you and your marriage.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Aug. 26th, 2020
id 8699849
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Sofarsogood ( member #71991) posted at 9:57 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I too have rug sweeping at it's finest. You get to a point in your life where you are comfortable or content with where your life is now because you're pretty certain your spouse is past the point of rocking the boat (so to speak..) I now do things that make me happy ( family, friends, travel, etc.) If he wants to come along for the ride, that's great. My WH is a homebody. I now do what I want when I want.

posts: 295   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8699853
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 10:45 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

It is very unfortunate that you find yourself here at this stage of your marriage. I feel for you. But, there is no turning back at this point. Your own psyche will no longer allow you to rug sweep what she has done. I am older than you, but I remember significant events in my life quite clearly that took place 50 or more years ago. Don't buy any bullshit from her that she doesn't remember who she slept with, about how many times she cheated with them, and over what period of time.

The first thing you do is demand a detailed timeline of all her extracurricular activities. Make it clear to her that it must be DETAILED. Also, tell her that it will be subject to a polygraph. Make it clear that this is non-negotiable. Stick to your guns on this point if you want any chance at getting the truth. At this point, I don't think you will rest easy until you have close to the full story.

You may wish to DNA your children. This can be tricky and open a whole other can of worms. But you may not rest until you find out for sure. I did that thirty-nine years later. It worked out well for me. I got a lot of crap from some people on this forum for doing it. Don't listen to them. You do it if you feel it is necessary. DO NOT let anyone discourage you from doing it. Do it after the polygraph. It may give you the answer before needing to DNA the children.

After you have as much of the story as possible, you can decide what to do. If she cheated early in the relationship, you may decide to take a certain approach. If the cheating occurred more recently and with many men, you may decide on a different approach. Right now you do not know the extent of the cheating. Thus a detailed timeline and polygraph are essential. Stay strong. If her cheating has been quite extensive and extended well into your marriage, you will need IC. You will probably need it, regardless. If her cheating has been that extensive, I certainly would not fault you for going out and finding a girlfriend. The best approach would be to leave, but financial considerations might make that choice extremely difficult. Why in the hell should you remain faithful with someone who cheated for years behind your back. I hope that isn't the case but be prepared for the worse.

posts: 458   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8699858
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IceGold ( new member #79515) posted at 10:56 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I am so so sorry. Your story hurts to read because I’ve wept on the floor as well and I know how painful that heart-rending is.
Something that stands out to me right away is that while you’re weeping on the floor your wife gaslit you by accusing you of having affairs of your own. Her response to your pain was cruelty and manipulation. She chose to emotionally abuse you when you were at your most raw and vulnerable. Even if you can forgive cheating, is this a safe partner for you?

Huge hugs my friend. I’m so sorry you’re part of the club.

Me= BW married 18 years
Too many DD to want to list
Two wonderful kids that deserve better

posts: 6   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Carbon Based Planet
id 8699860
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 12:36 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

A couple of years ago, I started revisiting some old memories. I won’t call them repressed memories, because they’ve always been there, but I began reliving those memories through the eyes of a much older, wiser man than the young, naïve 20-year-old I was at the time

...at least three different guys she slept with during that time. One of them was my best friend.

This began eating away at me and it just won’t go away. It’s snowballed inside me until it has just become overwhelming. It haunts my sleepless nights and ties my stomach into knots during the day.


Ugh, been there and done that. Sometimes still doing that.

Then I broke down, like nothing I have never before experienced

I'm glad, and I hope it was cathartic for you. You've been living a lie as big as hers.

Why can’t I just let it go?...How do I stop obsessing over it? I can’t turn my brain off.

Again, been there and done that. no grandkids, but three kids and a life of memories. My case is different in that I actually caught them (1987), so wondering if it happened for 40 years. But at some point about 10 years ago now, I put my mind's eye on the events and started rethinking them. I realized that I had bought a lot of the bullshit I was being sold to minimize what happened, that I didn't really know what had gone on, but being older and wiser (or at least more experienced) now I could see it.

and it bothered me. It bothers me now, if I let it, if I choose to think about it.

I don't understand why it bothers me. That's the deeper question I ponder on now. Why does it bother me? That's not suggesting at all that it shouldn't. Instead, it's really addressing a deeper question...who am I? Sixty trips around the Sun...what's the outcome of it? Was my purpose in life to write some sort of narrative, and if so, was it blown up by this realization?

Easily 80% of what we believe to be immutable fact is actually belief. Things we just accept without question. Things that aren't the truth. Most of what you know about your wife is probably fiction. You've spent a lifetime believing this stuff. But now, through your own introspection, you realize it's been a lie. Now you want the truth.

I agree with your wife, it will be hard to handle the truth, but I don't think you'll accept anything less. Even if you never find out the details of whatever it is she did, you'll have to get to accepting the truth that you barely know this human next to you, that you were wrong judging her character and who she is. The good and the bad. You'll see her honestly, the imperfect human you've been tied to for 40 years.

Sorry you find yourself here, shipmate. Grab the life preserver, it'll be high winds and heavy seas for a while.

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 8699887
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 1:53 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

64YY,

Have your WW sit down and write out a timeline for her affairs, sometimes speaking face to face allows them to get evasive and try to divert you by crying or making counter accusations.

She will remember large details, did she have anal, did she have sex 1, 10 or 20 times, did she give them money, did they want to marry her, did she ever fully love you after the affair or did she keep one of the OM as a fantasy.

Most of all if she cheated on you with 3 guys, the likelihood her her cheating again through the years goes up dramatically. What's another lie matter when she has been concealing so much for so long.

Are you able to contact the OM?

posts: 1073   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8699894
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 1:55 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

There is something to the generality, "once a cheater, always a cheater". I read an article in Psychology Today and the author equated cheating as a true addiction. Like an alcoholic, even if they never cheat again after some point in time, they still have the propensity to do so- for a variety of reasons. I recommend cheaters go to a life long 12 step program similar to alcoholics. They need the support.

Be loving, but be firm. You need answers to try and heal. She needs to provide them.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4464   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8699895
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 1:56 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Are you able to contact the OM?


Your friend cheated on you too. You owe him a confrontation, and he owes you the truth, whether he will give it to you or not.

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 8699896
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 4:12 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

I would not contact your "friend" until she reveals what happened. Then you can make the decision if you want or need to talk with him. You may never want to talk with him again if your suspicions are correct.

Could she have thought your relationship back then was not monogamous?

Did she think you slept with the other girl and thus she decided to sleep with others too?

Those things might be possible.

posts: 405   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8699916
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 11:49 AM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

SnowtoArmpits and src9043

SI does not condone infidelity in any shape or form. Please do not encourage it on this site.

posts: 10000   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8699933
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steadychevy ( member #42608) posted at 12:27 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

The problem with rugsweeping, as you're finding out and as I found out, is the eruption. I think that the longer the rugsweep the bigger the eruption. When issues are swept under the rug (and buried internally) is they boil and fester and churn and build up pressure until they erupt. Between the rugsweep and eruption harm is being done to the the body.

While this happened long ago your DDay is recent. It's like yesterday. Even though you had those suspicions that you suppressed all those years the confirmation is a huge blow. I finally, like you, put together all my circumstantial evidence and presented it to my wife. I think I thought finally knowing would give me relief or she could absolutely convince me once and for all that my suspicions were totally wrong (though I didn't believe that). I did feel instant relief. I remember clearly thinking "I am right, I'm right, I'm not wrong, I'm not crazy, I'm not paranoid, I'm not stupidly jealous, I'm right". Then the wheels fell off the bus.

I went through all the things you've described and more. I curled up in a fetal position many times and sobbed wracking sobs until I fell asleep in exhaustion a few times. No sleep, couldn't eat solid food. I'd wretch with it at the back of my tongue. If that's still a problem for you get some meal replacement drinks. No sleep is dangerous. I ranch and being like a zombie is dangerous with machinery and cattle. My XWW slept like a baby after the DDays but always. She felt no guilt.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I can tell you from my perspective that finally knowing is way, way better than those periods of doubt from before knowing. I was 62 on DDay. I'm now 70. I have three wonderful daughters and 10 grandchildren. Those were the positives from my marriage. Still, I wonder what my life would have been had I paid attention to the flashing red lights and sirens instead of being lovestruck.

BH(me)70; XWW 64; M 42 yrs
DDay1-01/09/13;DDay2-26/10/13;DDay3-19/12/13;DDay4-21/01/14
LTA-09/02-06/06? OM - COW
"dates" w/3 lovers post engagement;ONS w/stranger post commitment, lies, lies, lies
Separated 23/09/2017; D 16/03/2020

posts: 4689   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2014   ·   location: Canada
id 8699938
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