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Newest Member: InkHulk

Just Found Out :
Online affair

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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:08 PM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

When you say, "he's the one who left the marriage", do you mean that he's left the home? Because yeah, if he has run away so to speak, I'd probably see an attorney and draw up the paperwork. But if he's just withdrawn emotionally from the marriage, I think I'd sit down, think about my boundaries (meaning what kind of behavior I'm willing to tolerate from someone who claims they want to be my spouse), and then I'd lay it on him. He'd need a timeline, full transparency on his tech, 100% honesty going forward, counseling in order to remediate whatever defects in character allowed him to say "yes" to cheating, and whatever else you think you might need in order to feel like you're making headway. I don't think you have anything to lose by not being completely open with your expectations at this point.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5639   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8703687
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Site ( new member #79668) posted at 1:59 PM on Sunday, December 12th, 2021

Pretty sure that is the point, your old marriage is gone, never to return (be thankful) this has to be a new one going forward, if your spouse cant see that (mine cant at this point) then there is zero chance it can be saved. Mine has said she was sorry so many times in the last 6 weeks it would fill a encyclopedia, yet when I tell her the I'm sorry and I love yous are empty as the times she would say them when she was active in her A she doesn't like it, she goes straight back to her defensive self.

Actions.....it is all about actions not words and it appears a lot of cheaters cant get their head around that. Good luck and God bless I hope you find peace and happiness

posts: 13   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8703758
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 Devasated63 (original poster new member #79637) posted at 4:26 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Thanks to all who have offered support and great advice. I am now 5 weeks out from DD, husband has continued to say he is sorry and loves me and wants to make our marriage work. However, I don’t see any actions. Many of you have said your WH stepped up to the plate with actions to restore trust and rebuild the marriage. I have not see any actions to date. He has offered very very little in the way of explanation or details. After a lot of prodding from me he finally did say in a text he did this because he craved attention, it was fun and distracting. That’s all he has said. When I told him that was a start but I had a lot more questions he didn’t respond. What actions have WH taken and how long did it take them to start taking these actions? I am starting to think he hopes that as time passes I will just magically forgive him and he can just come back and he will never need to explain any of this to me.
ApprecIate any feedback or thoughts. Thanks

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021
id 8705709
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 4:44 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

After a lot of prodding from me he finally did say in a text he did this because he craved attention, it was fun and distracting.

When you have a few hours of free time start looking into ‘external validation addiction’ so you know the massive uphill battle you’re going to take on if you offer R.

You can’t lead a horse to water and make them drink, your WH should be showing actions already, like simply making the effort, any effort, into anything marriage related, making some sort of step making you feel safe with them, something to start build that new trust.

Time doesn’t build trust, it lessens pain of loss, but trust doesn’t bloom just because of proximity over time.

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 266   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8705712
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:50 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

What actions have WH taken and how long did it take them to start taking these actions?

I asked for what I wanted, and my W either gave me that or negotiated an alternative that I found satisfying.

The first thing I wanted was answers, and W answered my questions truthfully. I wanted to talk with an objective observer, to find out if my responses to W's A were in the ballpark of healthy and reasonably normal; W arranged for us to see her IC on d-day, which worked extremely well. I wanted to see - and get rid of - all artefacts from the A (her ap gave her all sorts of shit); W collected them, and either dumped them in a bag for discarding or dumped them in a box to be sent back to ow. I wanted sex; W was responsive.

The key, I think, is knowing what you want, asking for it, and finding out how your WS responds. If they give you what you want willingly, you have a chance for R. If they don't, R may be low probability.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27292   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8705887
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 3:11 AM on Sunday, December 26th, 2021

Devasted63,

I would urge a mixture of clear boundaries and expectations for what you need to feel safe and to re-establish trust. You may need to be clear that, while detailed and empathetic apologies are needed, they are NOT where healing ends by a long shot.

I am starting to think he hopes that as time passes I will just magically forgive him and he can just come back and he will never need to explain any of this to me.

If I were a betting person, that's where I'd place my bet. Yet, you already know that this rugsweeping will solve nothing for you or for him. He won't have changed. Whatever drove him to
"crave attention" and to find betrayal "fun and distracting" will still be there.

There is much within him (avoidance? lack of self-esteem? self-centeredness?) that HE needs to address to be truly more content with himself and to be a safe partner to you.

So, I would also urge you to be judicious in how many specifics you give him about the work he needs to do. He put plenty of time, energy, effort into betrayal and secrecy. He did that without a cruise director to plan it out for him. You, correctly, want to see (at minimum) a similar amount of time, energy, and effort into saving a marriage he has chosen to damage with betrayal and secrecy.

In my own desperation to heal, I made the mistake of out-working my WH and of "managing" too much of his work.

It was damaging to both of us. I realized that I was becoming more and more resentful about outworking him, and I didn't trust his "efforts" because I was managing them. My management and his lack of managing his own efforts ultimately did handicap his growth in the first year and a half of our path toward recovery.

So, you might be clear that you expect clear and consistent efforts and that you won't manage that for him. You expect him to be self-driven. You might just give him broad strokes of what that could look like.

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 162   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8706005
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 Devasated63 (original poster new member #79637) posted at 3:20 AM on Friday, December 31st, 2021

Still waiting for explanation of all of this and answers to my questions. It’s been 6 weeks and still have gotten very little out of him. I talked to an attorney again the other day and am starting process of filing for divorce. I texted husband to tell him this since we don’t speak-his choice-it’s up to him to reach out and he hasn’t-his response was "why?" Could not even believe thats what he said. Told him if he wants to talk further call me. Didn’t hear from him for a day then he texts some random question not at all related to what’s going on. I text back I guess you don’t want to talk he says he does then eventually calls. Says he wants to talk, I say ok talk, he says I don’t want a divorce, I say I need you to tell me everything, he says what does that mean, I say let’s start with how this started, he kind of laughs and says I dont know-online, I say online where, he says I don’t know they just started texting me, I say how did they get your number, he says I don’t know, at this point I I explode and drop more f bombs in 5 minutes than I have in a month. I tell him when and if you want to take this seriously call me otherwise don’t bother- said many other things also but this post is already huge, he says I’m so embarrassed let me talk to my counselor, he has been seeing a counselor for. 5.weeks. He had his call with counselor today and I have not heard a peep from him. I think he either does not think I will actually go through with divorce or will let it happen rather than have to tell the truth. And through it all it’s all about what he wants, he has said the I’m sorry crap multiple times but not once has he asked me what I need or what he can do to try and start rebuilding trust. It’s just unbelievable I don’t know what happened to this guy and when he apparently became a self centered narcissist. Or maybe I just missed it for 30 years. Now not only hurt and angry but frustrated as well.

[This message edited by Devasated63 at 3:25 AM, Friday, December 31st]

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021
id 8706651
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 4:39 AM on Friday, December 31st, 2021

Very sorry you are dealing with this. Your WH is giving you nothing to work with. From what you describe your WH is vying to be a world-champion rugsweeper. At this time he’s not remorseful or empathetic. You’ve got great advice on the actions you need to see from him. You are following the only path you can in these circumstances to remove yourself from infidelity. Always value yourself. You deserve the best. You are the prize.

Take care of you. Do your best to heal and get stronger for you. You mentioned that you are the higher wage earner in your M. Take any legal means to protect yourself financially. Watch his actions p, not his words. Others will come along with advice. Good luck.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3171   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8706657
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:53 AM on Friday, December 31st, 2021

Well, we know he's capable of communication because his phone bill has him down for 4000 text messages a month. He just doesn't want to talk about it. I hope you made it clear to him that there are only two paths out of this... either he comes completely clean and works hard to repair all that he has broken, or he gets ready to be curbed with his reputation in tatters. It's not incumbent on you to be his secret keeper, and when people ask you what's going on, you'll tell them. And why not let him know that you plan to know plenty, because you'll send professionals to dig through every last jot of the computers, bills, and statements. He can hide what he can, but it's going to cost him the life he had with you, and even then, you'll find out more than he thinks.

It sounds like he's gone full ostrich with his head buried in the sand, and you're right... either he thinks you won't pull the trigger on divorce or he doesn't believe he cares if you do. Chances are, he cares more than he thinks he does. Talking is healing. You really don't have a choice on that. You won't heal right if you're not talking because you won't be able to reestablish emotional intimacy. He's making a choice right now. My advice would be to point that out to him.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5639   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8706660
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 12:56 AM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

Bump.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3171   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8726121
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Lostwings ( new member #79902) posted at 9:22 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Devastated ,
So sorry to join this best forum for infidelity.
I was you 7 months ago .

My husband had a 5.5 months online affair with a college friend that he virtually met again, after online college reunion during Covid .
Unfortunately for them ( and fortunate for me), they live ocean apart . The only way to reconnect was using online conversations and soon, it developed into online romance and sex using FaceTime . They professed "I love you" to each other daily and planned to meet in person after Covid is over. I found her text (one text only that explained all) before they are able to execute their plan .

I was as devastated as you when I found out and he has been saying sorry all the time, even now. However, I did not see remorse in his action for months except telling me he was regretful and still loved me . He is getting better lately in showing remorse , starting to admit his inner demons which are looking for outside validations, being a people pleaser and a covert narcissist. Instead of communicating with me what he needed and his inner thoughts before the affair, he left the marriage and starting an affair.

Keep asking him , ask him for time line ! You deserve at least honest replies and make sure he has no more contact with all those women.
You can also use Camomile Tea’s advice like I am using it now. It is worth in weight like gold. Thank you CT!

Hang in there, it will get better . You and I and so many others that are still struggling are fortunate to have found and have so many supports in this forum . They are like a family to me because nobody knows except the two of us and our therapist .
Hugs and God bless.

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 48   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8726723
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takenbytotalsurprise ( member #79974) posted at 1:19 AM on Thursday, March 31st, 2022

ChamomileTea Great thoughts that I can use too - Thank you:

Re:
"Healthy ADULTS don't need to be validated. They validate internally. Healthy adults are self-fruitful in the matter of contentment and life satisfaction, and when things come up which make them unhappy, they address the cause and solve the problem. OTOH, the vast majority of cheaters cheat because they're seeking external validation. They are NOT emotionally healthy. They can't do it on their own. They've got a hole inside them and no amount of external validation will fill it. Certainly, the old and familiar validation of a spouse doesn't get the job done. Our "kibbles" are stale and boring. They don't create enough adrenaline anymore to make the cheater feel special. It's like getting an "atta boy" from your mom, right?

This is old pop-psy which is still being taught in schools and still selling books. But it's bullshit. NOTHING you can do (or fail to do) can MAKE another person throw away their core values and do something that's in this kind of opposition to good character. If you're a person who BELIEVES in fidelity, who VALUES fidelity, you don't cheat. End of story. Because when we truly value something we protect it. The cheater has a "but..." in his values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my needs aren't being met." For people like you and me, we have a "so..." in our values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." This is the BOUNDARY we create organically. We don't sit around planning it out. It just happens, because it's innate to our character to protect what we value. The cheater doesn't have those boundaries because he doesn't really honor his values. He only claims to."

posts: 52   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Florida
id 8726982
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 Devasated63 (original poster new member #79637) posted at 4:15 AM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

Well I am now almost 5 months out and never did get any real answers on any of this. I met with him and his counselor twice and it was a disaster. He was very defensive and nervous and answered most of my questions with either I don’t remember or I don’t know and then tried to say he had answered all my questions. Even his counselor seemed a bit shocked and had to tell him he really wasn’t answering my questions and had to tell him to stop yelling. One of the last things he said in the meeting was that he wanted to have a girlfriend. So that was just great to hear but at least I think it was one of the few times he was speaking the truth. For those who told me there was likely more to this you were right. I did some snooping and acted like I was my husband and found out there were some kind of"sessions" on what’s app that happened while he was in our basement and I was upstairs. There were also sex toys involved. I also found out he told her or them personal things. She knew what my profession was and that we have 2 sons. So as messed up as I thought it was its even worse. I’m sure if I kept digging I would find more but there really is no point. I am meeting with my lawyer tomorrow to file for divorce. I’m trying hard to stay positive but this is just the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I thought I knew this person and I didn’t know him at all and my self esteem is just gone. But I’ll keep going and I know it will get better eventually. Sorry for the long post and thanks to all who offered words of advice and comfort.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021
id 8727212
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Countingsheep65 ( member #56000) posted at 6:18 AM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

Just want you to know, you are not alone in this. I’m sorry your hurt, I really hope you proceed with the divorce because there is more, and he won’t change. It’s amazing they "never remember ", so convenient for them.

posts: 451   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2016
id 8727232
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:58 PM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

You're pretty kick ass Dev.

Instinctively you did the exact right thing. Asked for what you needed (answers) and then stood back to see what he would do.

No pick me dance in your game. No 1252 point document showing him the way to adulthood and integrity. Nope. You have spared yourself untold stress and additional trauma.

Not that this isn't still horribly painful and devastating. But the quicker you get out of infidelity, the quicker you heal. Unfortunately, the only way out of infidelity is to leave the marriage. Hard stuff. You will heal though. You really will.

posts: 186   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8727481
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 4:17 PM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Bumping for OP smile

FBH - 50 FWW - 51 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 15 & 20
The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55377   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8738491
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 Devasated63 (original poster new member #79637) posted at 4:05 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Well I am getting a divorce. I told my husband multiple times I needed him to talk about all this and that was the only way forward. He never did. I can only assume that since he didn’t ever offer anything more than I’m sorry and the little I was able to wrench out of him that this is what he wants. I filed a few weeks ago and he was served the papers and the few times I have talked with him he acts like he is sad about the divorce. When I told him I gave him time and multiple opportunities to talk and he refused his response was I said I’m sorry and it will never happen again so I did talk. I told him that’s what a 5 year old says when they do something wrong not what a grown man who has betrayed a 30 year relationship says. He didn’t like that. I’m sure his angle going forward when he tells the story will be I screwed up but did everything to try to make it right. That’s his way-he is always the victim. As hard and painful and expensive as this is I am 99% sure I am doing the right thing.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021
id 8739738
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 4:22 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I’m sorry D63 that your H has continued to do less than what you need - or less than the bare minimum.

If the filing for D didn’t rattle him - then I think he wants the D. And he wanted you to file for it so as you stated, he can play the victim.

His actions are more honest than his words, even if he believes his own words.

I wonder if there is not more to this affair — like he’s really in love with her etc.

I’m sorry for you. Your H is in the affair fog - and he does not appear to be doing anything about it.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 9:59 PM, Saturday, June 11th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12120   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739739
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 5:06 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I'm sorry it has come to this but with your husband it seems to be for the best. He clearly either wanted you to rugsweep (so he could resume cheating later on) or pull the trigger and file yourself, so he won't be blamed for ending it. When I hear stats about women usually being the ones initiating divorce, I think a lot of that comes from cases like this, in which the man basically forces the woman's hand, either by virtually dropping out of the marriage or treating her like total crap, or both. Experienced it myself and read lots of accounts of it here.

You've behaved like a champ throughout this and assiduously avoided the usual BS pitfalls of denial, self-blame, pick-me dancing, trying to fix him, inability to leave no matter what, etc. That is something for you to be proud of.

That’s his way-he is always the victim.

I've had the misfortune to be with two cheaters in my life. Very different men, different personalities completely, different stations in life. Looking back, the one thing they both have in common is that deep down they both see themselves as a victim. This wasn't obvious when I met them, but gradually came out over the years I was with them. Still held a grudge against their mothers in both cases for their bad childhoods, while basically letting their fathers off the hook.

Anytime a man sees himself as a victim, it's a red flag. I think that is what gives them the internal permission to cheat.

[This message edited by morningglory at 5:36 PM, Saturday, June 11th]

posts: 358   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739743
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 8:52 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Anytime a man sees himself as a victim, it's a red flag. I think that is what gives them the internal permission to cheat.

I agree, although I'd say the same goes for women. I've known quite a number of women who are always the victim in whatever drama they've got going on in their lives and typically, have found them to be so self-involved that they don't have room for any real empathy for others. They're quite capable of a sort of topical kind of empathy, clucking along in sympathy if someone points out a sad situation, but otherwise, everyone's out to get them if you listen to them talk for fifteen minutes.

For the OP, this kind of "always the victim" behavior can be tolerable to some degree... in the way that boiling a frog is tolerable, I guess. shocked But once that person has betrayed you, they might as well have a neon sign over their head reading "I Only Care About Myself". It's just not something you can live with anymore, not with any kind of equanimity.

I'm sorry that it came to this. But I think this guy was given every opportunity to remediate his character and sadly, has elected not to bother. I hope you won't beat yourself up about it, Devastated. There's just nothing you can do when a cheater refuses to engage the recovery process.


((big hugs))

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5639   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8739767
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