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goalong ( member #57352) posted at 5:50 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

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

That is rather lame. You should be stronger and steadier. by your action, you rested the control to her. In her eyes you became a vulnerable individual who has to be taken care of.

Keep your head high, confidence is sexy, worse things happen to people. You should be dealing with this situation with a strong mind and act in a confident and appropriate manner. after all this happened so long ago and you kept it to yourself. At this stage provided that you have had a good marriage and she is remorseful best thing is to reconcile

[This message edited by goalong at 5:51 PM, Wednesday, November 24th]

posts: 779   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2017   ·   location: USA
id 8699978
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 6:19 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

goalong you have a private message.

posts: 10000   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8699982
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 6:39 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

I’m sorry you are struggling. My H had a 4 year EA that I knew about (in the 90s before cell phones) but he refused to admit was going on. She’s just a friend was all he would say.

I knew better.

In his mind no sex = no affair.

It FINALLY ended on its own.

Fast forward 15 years later he is now having another affair. A much younger OW. He wants a D. He’s planning to kick me to the curb. So I call the OW who tells me everything. In 2 minutes I learned she knew more about my life than I did. She also told me he admitted to the previous affair and he knew it was wrong but I wasn’t going to tell him who he could be friends with. Huh!!!!

Finding out he knew the first EA was wrong 15 years later did more damage to me than the affair I was currently facing.

So I know how you feel. I understand your position.

How we managed to R is still a miracle in my opinion.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10894   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8699985
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ShutterHappy ( member #64318) posted at 6:47 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

I think you feel that way due to the trust you have lost… and to get to a better place you need to have trust reestablished.

Many posters have suggested a timeline. I think this would help reestablish trust and stop your imagination from going wild. Ask her to write down any infidelities, emotional or physical.

Good luck and post often! You have been heard.

Me: BH
Divorced, remarried.
I plan on living forever. So far so good

posts: 1477   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2018   ·   location: In my house
id 8699988
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 4:01 AM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Gent,

A big thing you can start doing to take control of your life is to simply get in the habit of saying to your wife, "I don't believe you."

She has depended on you believing her in order to keep up her lies, to manipulate and control her world, to make it safer for her. If she loses that, she loses control, you gain it.

You've conditioned yourself over 40 years to just accept what she says without scrutiny. Discard that. Un-know this person you thought you knew, and really watch her. There's a stranger in plain site standing there.

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 8700094
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 6:17 AM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

64YearsYoung, I'm sooooo sorry! A good part of us here on SI understand the level of betrayal you are experiencing. I know that I do. It's horrible!

My now deceased WH was a liar and a cheater pretty much from the first few months after we met, all the way up until his death in March 2020. It's really sad to realize he wasn't who I thought he was or who I wanted him to be.

I was so in love with my DWH when I first met him that I was willing to overlook his interest in other women. I chose and I also wanted to believe and convinced myself that he would never cheat on me.

My DWH had at least 10 AP. Maybe more. He needed external validation because of what he was lacking in his own life. He had a hard exterior and weak interior.

I remember when things were beginning to come out into the open and he cried to me that he cheated on me with the only AP he admitted to having. He used his tears to cover his sadness due to their breaking up. The tears were never about regret of hurting me and the kid's. His tears were for her.

My DWH never took the time to be fully honest with me, he trickled truth his truth. Only gave me bits. But after his death and over time I was able to piece his story together. I begged him to be honest but he refused, except to TT. Never full disclosure. He was always in denial.

Go after the truth. This is no longer about her, it's about you and what you need in order to make educated decisions about your life and your future. Have her do the timeline and then the poly. I now wish I would have insisted on that instead of blindly trusting him to be honest with me.

She has already told you that she has done terrible things. Now is the time to find out what those terrible things were if you are prepared to hear it. Time is of essence. The longer this goes on means the more damage to your heart and brain.

My DWH continued to play with my head and my heart, even on his deathbed. It never ended until his death.

I am further out than you are and what I can do for you is to offer you hope for better days ahead, no matter which direction you choose, R or D.

Try not to drag this out any longer. Seems like you have been dealing with this long enough.

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 1:30 PM, Thursday, November 25th]

posts: 742   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8700099
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 7:33 AM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

64YY,

Gently now, you had suffered a trauma 40yrs ago, and have been 'holding it in' ever since.

From what I interpret from your post, is that you rugswept the problems. One thing that everyone here will tell you, rugsweeping is not a good thing.

By rugsweeping, the problem does not go away, but is hidden by the rug. There will be a bump in the rug as long as the dirt is kept under the rug.

As the years go by, as you keep walking on the rug, the area over the dirt starts to wear down, much faster than the rest of the rug. Eventually, after more footsteps on the bump, the rug will wear down to a point where the dirt is exposed, and it will start spreading out, as it was never thrown away properly. It will then soil the rest of the rug, and will continue to do so unless it is dealt with properly.

I don't have much advice for you, as what you have been given is already very good. The only thing I would add is that this hidden dirt needs to be disposed of properly, and the only way you can do that, is to face the issue head on until it is resolved.

Your years on this planet will be shortened if this is not resolved, as it will eat you up from the inside.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 908   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8700103
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trustedg ( member #44465) posted at 7:26 PM on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

I let my suspicions nag me for 25 years, I think I always knew something had happened. When I confronted him he folded and admitted it, of course he had to do some trickle truth crap (they don't seem to realize that hurts you even more). It doesn't matter that it was years ago, your Dday just happened and it is going to send you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Find a good individual counselor, if you don't like the first one, find another.

Unfortunately your wife isn't showing any remorse. That is not good. I 2nd the "How to help your spouse Heal" book. Read it and give it to her. That is what she should be doing. Not sure asking for a timeline will help, too much time has past. The bigger question is why is she not remorseful?

The other guy, drop him as a friend. Yes it was years ago but continuing contact with him will just trigger all the hurt and anger.

Me BWHim WH DDay 12/2012Married a long time, in R

posts: 2310   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2014
id 8700595
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:55 AM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

Do not, for a second, feel badly about how you process the trauma you have experienced. I am a retired infantry officer and I literally fell apart after Dday. It is nothing any of us ever prepared for, and intimate betrayal is the worst kind. If anything, you broke down because you feel things deeply and care very much.those are good things.

Believe it or not, it will get better, but, at least at first, it is a battle of inches. You are among friends and allies her. We got your back. Stay strong...

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

posts: 1136   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8700619
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hatefulnow ( member #35603) posted at 9:32 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

Brother, you have my sympathies. I have a similar situation to you, except my XWW had a thing for her AP (whom I didn't like at all and she knew it) from before we got together and he only showed her any interest when I started seeing her. Also the affair lasted all through our relationship (close to 20 years, on and off) which I found out about in the most horrible way.

We divorced because I just couldn't take it, but today we co-parent well and even date as a couple, exclusively (I think, hope).

My issue with XWW, and I believe what's eating at you, is the denial of agency. If you had known what she had been doing, would you have married her? You've had a great life with her, built wonderful memories, a family, and you should be looking forward to a great future. Unfortunately, that life was built on deceptions. She took away your choice to decide your life based on the truth.

You said it was at least 3 guys, one of whom was your best friend whom you kept in contact with over the years. I can't imagine anything as disrespectful as that...on both their parts. When you got together with this 'friend' over the years, did he and your wife have a secret laugh at your expense? Their dirty little secret? Also, what I feel you may need to address is how, when and why she was able to do whatever she did AND how, when and why it ended, if it did really end.

If she was dealing with other guys, you might need to have her explain why she chose to marry you, while having 'fun-time' with other guys. My XWW actually confessed she married me because her AP wouldn't and I was a safe, reliable choice. That, in addition to finding out how 'enthusiastically' she carried on with him while being so 'Wednesday night meatloaf' with me, was the gut punch that made me have to divorce her. It took years of therapy to get past that. Still stings sometimes though. After a while she really amped things up in the bedroom, but it's bittersweet, for obvious reasons.

Moving forward I suggest you do the following (which I didn't do) concurrently:
- Have her do a timeline addressing her dealings with these other men AND with you, i.e. why were you her pick.
- Put a time limit on it...a week or maybe two...to get it done. You're not going to wait forever for it. Non-negotiable.
- Stress that the only way to move past this (you won't ever truly get over it) is with complete openness and honesty.
- Both of you read and discuss How to help your spouse heal from your affair, by Linda McDonald. Non-negotiable.
- As has been suggested, get a lie detector test for both of you to address your concerns and hers. Do this after you get the
timeline, but let her know you're going to use it to have the questions tailored to your situation and to test her honesty.
- Keep your head up and BE FIRM! No matter what society says, I feel women hate weakness and vulnerability in men and there's
no greater turn-off for them. JMHO.

Once you get the truth, (or as much of it you can stand), you might consider confronting your so-called friend and call him out. Let him know just what you think of him and he should lose your number. Let your wife know this will happen if you decide you need to do it. You might tell her that you may contact him for closure as a mean to get her to be more forthcoming. DO NOT LIE or BLUFF! You may do it or you may not. You haven't decided yet, but if you do decide to, it will happen.

Be careful with this though. My XWW's AP said some horrific things to me when I confronted. Really emasculating. Fortunately he was vulnerable because he was high-ranking reserve military and had a very high security clearance (above top secret) which he was parleying to get a lucrative job with a contractor, which he lost when I told his commander. So I was able to torpedo two of his carreers, his future and his marriage. He didn't think I had the stones to go there.

HE...WAS...WRONG!

Last I heard, his wife divorced him and took him for everything she could, which was a lot! It still gives me the warm and fuzzies when it comes to mind.

Your guy might not have that situation, so again, be careful.

Lastly...give yourself time! It may take years to get through this and move on. Good luck!
-

posts: 259   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2012
id 8701671
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 8:57 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

64YY, I'm so sorry that you're going through this now. I can empathize. My FWW and I have been R'd for almost 18 years but even just the questions I left unanswered and the blame and shame I internalized back then have me right back in it, obsessing and trying to finally really deal with it.

The obsessive thoughts you're experience are very common. What you've suffered is a real trauma. You've discovered that reality is entirely different than you thought for many years. One of the best resources I've found in understanding this trauma are the two episodes of the Addicted Mind podcast linked in this SI thread. I urge you to listen to them.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/617809/finally-therapists-that-get-what-a-bs-goes-through-/

As others have said, asking your WS to write out a timeline of any infidelities is the best way to get to the truth. Getting them to understand the importance of being completely open and honest is the challenge. A WS is almost always going to look to protect themselves by lying or withholding information that is damning or shameful. They may tell themselves that they're protecting you from information that would only be hurtful. Getting them to a place of complete openness and honesty is no easy task and may require significant IC and/or MC.

I'm familiar with the challenges of doing a timeline long after the fact. I'm going through that process now with my FWW to get the details her A from 18 years ago. As I'm approaching retirement I realize that I'm no longer willing to carry the shame or blame I internalized from her A and I'm no longer willing to go through life not knowing what was really going on for a year of it.

It's not as easy as some believe when you're talking about that long ago. Yes, I believe that events with extreme emotions or excitement are probably burned in there somewhere. But if someone is trying to forget those things they can become difficult to access over time.

I recommend that you experience this yourself by writing your own timeline around that same time period. If you have scrapbooks or photo albums those may provide some mental milestones that you can work from. Include all the significant events you remember from that time. Note suspicions or concerns that you may recall but dismissed. Try to recall the circumstances and time when she thinks you cheated.

Do not share any of this information with her until you have her timeline. You're right in thinking that she may be trying to determine what you know so she can tailor what she reveals to that.

I did this around my own experience and it really helped me understand what was going on. I understood for the first time how much my FWW's blame-shifting and history rewriting had become the truth for me. At the time it seemed like the cost of R.

Finally, take what you read here about cheaters with a grain of salt. Justifiably angry BSs often paint with a broad brush. It's absolutely true that there are some textbook WS behaviors and recidivism is one of them. But people can learn from their mistakes and change. It's rare to hear of a WS doing it on their own without IC, but not impossible.

Best of luck to you. Let us know how it goes.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 8:58 PM, Wednesday, December 1st]

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 122   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8702001
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

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.

Her first reaction— as a mature woman in her 60’s for fuck’s sake when she should have some more empathy — was to DARVO and gaslight you relentlessly, casually and quite cruelly. Look up DARVO. Think carefully on this.

Also you don’t have to do it here but you might consider asking yourself how she’s your soulmate? in what specific ways does she measure up to that ideal?

If there’s one thing that being betrayed disabused me of, it’s the idea of soulmates.

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.

If someone says this it probably means they’ve put some thought into it. And because they’ve put some thought into it, they are probably correct in their assessment.

Hint: by her behavior those years ago, she already changed how you feel. She created an intimacy vacuum and all along you’ve known it was there. It just took your brain some time to process it. Now by alluding to “terrible things” she has ALSO changed the way you feel. Even now you see her in a different light. She might actually reverse this course by being truthful. There’s a chance. But the path she’s on now is GUARANTEED to permanently harm what intimacy and authenticity you might possibly restore. As it is she is locking in unhappiness for both of you with her continuing lies.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:34 AM, Thursday, December 2nd]

"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: 4390   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8702043
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 4:00 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

It's not as easy as some believe when you're talking about that long ago.

I clearly remember my deceased WH behavior with A LOT of other women, even after 35 years together. I feel like those memories are burned into my brain, although they don't carry the weight they once did.

Don't be fooled, she does remember.

posts: 742   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8702072
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