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Badwife79

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:14 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Does your husband know about the second affair? How did he find out? Was there more TT? Was it your idea to start posting here, or was it your husband's suggestion?

posts: 3874   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8702856
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 1:23 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Unfortunately trickle truth has been going on until very recently. We had tried to recover 16 years ago when it came out but we just did some rug sweeping and moved on with our lives. We even had another child who is now 6. We are not 100% certain what causes the trigger for the relapse. We have some guesses but start couple therapy tomorrow to try and help us figure it out. I turned around this time because I could really see the hurt, pain, anger, etc that my BS had from the affair. I decided I had to come clean about everything and also really LISTENED to what was bothering my husband and why he was so unhappy in our marriage.

Yeah, it does look like there's some room for improvement. Talking is healing, and if you weren't allowing enough time and emotional intimacy for talking, that's going to impede healing. The revelation of an additional inappropriate relationship puts a new strain on your trust. That said, these things are NOT unrecoverable. I think it's good that you're starting in counseling, but you might want to consider IC as well. You're going to want to get to the bottom of why you held that back. Complete honesty is necessary for emotional intimacy, so you've both been living without the best version of yourself for sixteen years now. That's not only hard on other people, it's hard on you too. A good IC can help you work through these issues, as well as the shame you've been holding onto.

Remember that you matter. Yeah, you did a bad thing. And yeah, it looks like you still have some room for improvement. But you can't reconcile a marriage by yourself. You just can't. It's not fair and it's not right, but BS's have to do their own work. The fact is that it's been sixteen years, and if you don't want to be doing this again in another sixteen years, you're going to want to make certain that the work gets done this time. We've got people coming back in here thirty and forty years after infidelity, who have triggered on something or other and have become obsessive/compulsive again. Trauma is the only explanation I can think of which can cause that, but trauma doesn't typically just go 'poof' and disappear. It needs to be worked through and resolved.

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

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4886   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8702857
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 1:28 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

If you haven't disclosed the second affair, or held back on details on the first, then you haven't really been trying to reconcile yourself. And the clock starts as soon as you begin being truthful, not 16 years ago. You put a lot of onus on your husband being away, or being apart, for your own choices. Busy jobs etc aren't the reasons for why people are unfaithful. They are "if/then" reasons people come up with for justifications or rationalizations, but they aren't the real reasons.

It doesn't sound like you've really examined why you decided to be unfaithful to him twice. He probably senses this on a fundamental level.

I have disclosed the 2nd affair to him.

When? Was this recent that you disclosed it? Have you withheld material details of the first or second affairs that would impact the sense of "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"? In other words, no elisions, no omissions, no shading of the truth? The entire truth? I'm not asking you to disclose everything to us about your situation here; I'm asking you to ask yourself these questions. Even when a faithful spouse doesn't know "the whole truth" they can sense the intimacy vacuum that has been created. It lingers year after year.

[This message edited by Thumos at 1:36 AM, Tuesday, December 7th]

"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: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8702858
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 2:21 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

I only had sex with him 4-5 times total and we only met once outside of work. I met him outside of work on my lunch break when he was off. Nothing happened because we were going to meet at his mom’s but she ended up calling off sick that day. I really hate all of this and how it has made my husband feel. I held back because of his feelings but also because I was ashamed and didn’t want to think bad about myself. I had the personality that I wanted everyone to think highly of me.

So these weren't the reasons why you broke up your AP. Because as soon as it is over, you didn't mind getting into a new affaire. In this case, it becomes unclear who ended the first affaire and why. If it ended against your will and you continued to pursue AP, your husband has good reason to think that you love him more than himself.

I see you avoid answering many questions here. And some of your sentences seem like they were put here not to get ideas from others, but to show your husband how much you love him.

If he knows you're here and is reading what you wrote, and you haven't been honest with him yet, then it means that you're telling the same lies here and the story you tell us is also a lie and possibly there is much more. I write this part for him.

If he's not here, we have to admit that you're honest. This does not necessarily mean that you are, but since it will have nothing to gain you, it should be accepted as such.

[This message edited by guvensiz at 2:25 AM, Tuesday, December 7th]

posts: 620   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8702865
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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 5:46 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Many people show up and lie.
Her truth should definitely be questioned...not out of malice.

WS definitely lie to their partners but first to themselves. Challenging her is not an act of malice. It's caring enough about her to help her get to the truth so that she can deal with it.

Yes she (and all people for that matter) has something to gain. Validation and the ability to lessen her own pain and responsibility.

I do believe the desire to be better is a great starting point and she obviously is here with that intent.

posts: 2030   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8702879
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 9:29 AM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Before you read on, I want to qualify what I have posted below has no malice meant.

I know this is contrarian, but I do agree with you, that you were a bad wife.

Why I say this, is that you did not have your BH's needs at heart, but protected yourself. Putting your need to protect your own self-esteem, over his healing. It does not matter if you never even looked at someone else after your A. It does not matter how much time had passed since your A. It does not matter if you acted like you were the 'perfect wife' since your A.

As long as you are keeping any secrets that are pertinent to your BH's healing, you will continue to be a 'bad wife', as your BH's needs are still not being put over your own need to protect yourself.

So, this does not mean that you will be a 'bad wife' forever. It can be changed, as long as you are brave enough to do the changes.

In order to regain trust, all cards must be put on the table, and opened up. As you had only recently done this, you are on the way to shedding the 'bad wife' moniker.

As this damage has been done, you will need to put aside your need to control the outcome; to put the need of your BS to know the full unadulterated truth, so that he can make a choice for himself, a choice that you had denied him prior to your 'last truth' (I do sincerely hope that it is the last TT, and he has all that he needs).

You had 'lied' (omission is also lying) to him until very recently, so the number of years that you did not give your BH the full truth, X2 would be a gauge of how long it may take to regain his trust. So, since you had lied to him for 16yrs, that might give you a gauge of how long it may take for him to trust you again. This is just to give you an inkling of how much time you will need to invest.

Are you willing to invest in that amount of time and effort?

You will also have to stop worrying if you will D or not, as long as you worry about that, you will never be able to be authentic to your BS.

So, in summary, if you want to have a chance at a successful R, all the truth has to be out. It will take a long time and a large investment of effort, as it will be a marathon.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 932   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8702886
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 8:11 PM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Yes she (and all people for that matter) has something to gain. Validation and the ability to lessen her own pain and responsibility.

I do believe the desire to be better is a great starting point and she obviously is here with that intent.


If these words were uttered in reference to my words, when I said "she has nothing to gain" I meant "if her husband isn't here, being dishonest won't gain her anything, so she should be assumed to be honest in that case".
On the other hand, WSs whos BSs are here have to continue their real-life attitudes and lies here as well.

I wish your last sentence was true too, but my guess is, OP was directed here by her BH to show that he wasn't paranoid because of his suspicions and everyone in his shoes would have the same questions. And of course, for the suggestions that we'll make about what's on her to help him heal.

posts: 620   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8702952
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 11:55 PM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

I am glad you are working on no longer mistreating your husband and kids. What puzzles me is the genesis of this type of behavior.
It sort of boggles my mind, as I said, that you were offered the gift of reconciliation, wanted to reconcile, claim to love your husband, yet for many years after d- day and staying, you acted hateful toward your family. This seems contrary to how others who have cheated, outside of the very initial period of reconciliation, anyway, act.
Just speculation on my part, but it would seem to me that your husband would resent this and be very upset about it. It just seems so ungrateful and insensitive, perhaps an indication of the lack of empathy, which is the hallmark of the personality disordered. And, the kids. Why so hostile toward them?
Have you ben evaluated for a personality disorder.
Infidelity incidence is said to be much higher among the personality disordered.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8702992
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 3:53 AM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

What are you doing now, to make your BH feel 'safe'?

Has a timeline been given to him?

Has he indicated to you what he needs to feel safe with you, and if he has, are you doing them?

Did you send a NC letter to your AP(s)?

Has total transparency to all your social media/emails/location been extended to your BS?

These are just basics, and am sure others will be able to add more, but without these fundamentals, your BH will forever doubt your sincerity at the chance of R that he has extended to you.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 932   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8703011
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 2:04 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

I remember how frightening it is to finally decide to make changes. Your shell of denial was/is destructive to your BH, family, and marriage, but it protected you. When you're outside in the bitter cold, you cling to your only blanket even if it's covered in shit. That's a hard habit to break.

I also remember the battle inside my own head to redefine "the truth" into something palatable. If you're deflecting talk about the A, and trying to skip to the part where everything is ok again, it could just be that it's painful to face the destruction you've caused. On the other hand, it could be a sign that you're still tiptoeing around a minefield of lies. When I arrived here, I was hiding all kinds of things about my A, "details" that I treated as too inconsequential to mention but also far too dangerous to disclose. Some of them were known only to me and to the OM. There was zero corroborating evidence, so I subconsciously rationalized that if I forgot these events, then I could make them unhappen. It worked halfway, but my BH still sensed they were there. Our stories are similar enough that I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true for you.

There's a world of difference between telling almost all of the truth and all of the truth. When you tell almost all the truth, you're still a liar. I've said before that I had a bad case of "at least I" when I arrived here. At least I confessed. At least I told the truth. At least I ended the A voluntarily. These things were all true -- and also not. I left a lot of dirt under the rug, and while it looked pretty good on the surface, it frayed the hell out of the weave.

It's fucking terrifying to let go of the outcome. It takes an enormous leap of faith that you can survive and rebuild alone if it comes to that. But you can. This is the path to being okay with yourself. A person who is genuinely okay with themselves, who loves themselves enough to be honest and accountable, creates safety and abundance beyond what you can imagine from the broken place you're in now.

I remember. A lot of us do.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2379   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8703050
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 Badwife79 (original poster new member #79641) posted at 5:46 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Hello everyone! I just wanted to give an update. We had our first marriage counseling session yesterday and it went really well. I have some things to work on and our therapist had some really good points on what happened for me to cheat. I have a lot of work to do on myself and my BH is willing to stick beside me while we work through it all. I also have IC scheduled for the future.

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2021
id 8703075
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 6:22 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

There's a world of difference between telling almost all of the truth and all of the truth. When you tell almost all the truth, you're still a liar.

THIS!!!!! I remember when my WH started telling the whole truth. Stuff that I would never have known about, would never have been able to confirm. Even though some of the details were hurtful, it was oddly comforting - therapeutic even. Stuff I'd suspected but would never have been able to prove, stuff I would never have considered unless he had disclosed. Honestly, the more obscure the detail, the safer it made me feel because he was BEING HONEST with me. He wasn't protecting himself or the OW anymore. The story finally started to make sense to me. The way he talked about things started to make sense - he seemed more open because he wasn't holding anything back. He'd stopped editing. There was also a sense of relief from him too once everything was on the table. I felt a sense of relief because I finally - slowly - started to believe him. It wasn't until it was all out that I feel like we started to build trust back. It didn't come easily - obviously I had a million reasons to distrust him. I also didn't trust myself anymore because look what had gone on behind my back. Once I was satisfied I knew the whole story (or as much of it as I was ever going to know), we were able to focus on other issues and begin rebuilding.

I used to get very defensive and deflect in every conversation we had, but I am working on that. It is so hard because of the guilt I have for the pain I have caused him but also for the shame and reminders I have for all the horrible things I did to my BS. I am also working on becoming proactive because I would always hope we didn’t talk about the A and would try to avoid it like the plague.

My spouse did this too. I imagine it's pretty normal behaviour in relationships but its super problematic when you're going through something like. I really found that MC was a good place to deal with our faulty communications patterns. For us, I would come in on something "hot", which obviously was justified in the circumstances but it wasn't productive for us because my anger would cause my husband's already overactive fight or flight mechanism to kick in (heavy on the flight for him) and he would become defensive. That would cause me to get more angry and soon we were arguing about something else entirely and not dealing with A-related stuff. We discovered that if I was able to slow things down and raise the issues more calmly, he was more likely to engage with me on it and our conversations became more productive. I also really encourage you to bring up the A stuff on your own. It shows you're in tune with your husband's thoughts and feelings and that you're there for him. Your empathy will help him feel less alone and more connected to you.

You can do this. It's never too late to be a better person. In fact, it should be a lifelong process for each of us.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 743   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8703077
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:06 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

I hope your MC isn't saying your husband did,or didn't do somethin, that caused you to cheat. Or that there was something lacking in your marriage that caused it.

[This message edited by HellFire at 7:07 PM, Wednesday, December 8th]

posts: 3874   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8703086
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

I hope your MC isn't saying your husband did,or didn't do something, that caused you to cheat. Or that there was something lacking in your marriage that caused it.

Agreed, our first MC said exactly that. Played down my infidelity and even made a joke when we had a session of IC with her that my wife would be quite safe we're not going to get up to anything!!!

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, and Jan 21

posts: 116   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8703105
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:52 PM on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

You've been given some version of advice here In some cases that amounts to saying your BH is basically just having a brain fart lo these many years later -- and he will need to work through that.

I think it's counterproductive to see it that way. As we've sussed this out here it's easy to see how misguided this characterization of your husband was.

I would instead urge you to see this for what it is.

You've had a long term pattern of holding back relevant facts and your BH knows this, and he can sense whatever you're holding back.

The intimacy vacuum in your marriage is thus an unmended rift. Once fundamental trust has been violated, only truth restores any hope of regaining it. Without truth, no trust. Without trust, no reconciliation.

You’ve given your BH no good empirical reasons for extending trust again.

You're a repeat offender who seemed almost on the verge of stepping into serial cheating territory -- and you're really only now grappling with why you would do this more than once.

Without even being conscious of this your husband has observed this puzzling lack of curiosity by you. He has watched and is watching everything, and he has been making valid judgement calls based on what he has observed.

On top of this you've taken his gift of reconciliation (an extremely costly form if grace that comes at great sacrifice on the part of a faithful spouse) and responded with additional malice and abuse according to you (and I will stipulate here that it is striking how often some level of animus directed at a faithful spouse is in fact part of the infidelity).

Again this hasn't escaped your husband’s notice. He's put this cruelty on a scale and found it wanting. Gravely wanting. Again he has made valid judgement calls that the past is prologue and that the present is likely as good as it gets -- which doesn't seem to be good enough for him.

This causes an already traumatized faithful spouse to protect oneself from additional harm and abuse.

I hope your therapist has all the relevant facts, that you aren't shading the truth and that you have been completely transparent with your husband. Because that really is the only way to get thru this.

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:09 PM, Thursday, December 9th]

"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: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8703122
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gainingclosure ( new member #79667) posted at 8:34 PM on Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Im A BH and this story is so similar to my own that when I first started reading it I thought you may have been my wife that had came here to post w/o my knowledge. Im glad you posted this because I feel less alone now. The parallels are almost uncanny:

- D-Day for me was also 16 years ago on 9/29/2005 when she confessed out of guilt
- Happened at work (w/ a coworker) full blown 9 month EA leading to 6 month PA
- We've since "reconciled"
- Trauma was re-triggered a few weeks ago and I feel like Im at the same place as I was in the days and weeks after d-day
- My wife also says things to me like "we only had sex maybe 8 times" but "I cant remember exactly"
- Trickle truth over the years still to this day.

My trauma was re-triggered when I was going through some of our old photo albums as part of a shadow box project I had wanted to do. I saw photos from around that time and it triggered memories. Theres one photo of my wife holding a vase of roses that I had gifted to her when we went to a 5-star spa resort the week after I had found out, during my "win her back at all costs" crusade of humiliation that was reqiured in order to lift her out of the affair fog. Basically months of me playing the pick-me dance while she was still very emotionally attached to the AP. Months of me ignoring my emotional trauma and stuffing the intense feelings down so as not to scare her off.

To hammer it home, I watched a miniseries on HBO called "Scenes From A Marriage" that is about a WW that leaves her husband and all the fallout that causes. That miniseries REALLY put me back in that head space and I cant seem to shake it. Feelings of insecurity rushed in and the thought of "what if this happened again" came in. I told my wife that I felt we had lost our intimacy over the years (one reason she blames me for her A was a lack of intimacy) and that I wanted to regain it, but that also, I was having a hard time again with thoughts surrounding her affair. Im guessing that some similar trigger event also happened with your H.

It's been a surprise to experience the trauma all over again given that I have gone years w/o ruminating much about it. And now in recent days Ive asked my WW about 10x the amount of questions I asked her after it had happened. Wanting to know extreme levels of details and thoughts of her affair have consumed my days. Im back on this forum, and doing research on the AP, where he lives now, what he's doing now, is he more successful, did he turn out better, would they have gotten married, etc etc. I actually came to this same forum for support after my d-day in 2005 but lost access to my original account and the data seems to have been archived.

I think my desire to know every little detail may be the same as your H. It's rooted in a desire to truly know my spouse, and to know exactly what she was feeling and thinking during the time that it was all hidden from my awareness. I thought I knew my WW but obviously was wrong. I want to know exactly what she experienced and felt in order to expose any last vestiges of the hidden lies and that person that I didn't know. All of the stuff that went on behind my back, I want to know every. last. minute. detail. And yes, Ive discovered a lot of things I didn't know so far as a result of this latest round of questioning, so I want to keep pressing on because who knows when it's all going to stop? I know she wont voluntarily disclose more information unless I ask. So I'll ask and ask and ask until it feels like I was in the same room as they were and in her head for every second of that affair.

Now, since 16 years have gone by, I feel like we are in a different space and can have a new perspective on it, so I think it's useful to bring it back up periodically for this reason. There is no longer a big concern about "will we get a divorce if I tell him this or that". Well, not as much of a concern anyway unless there was a major new revelation. But the details I do know of are really horrible, and I cant imagine much worse to be honest, so anything else would probably be just icing on the shit cake.

We can talk about some of the details now w/o me breaking down crying or flying into a rage, as was more common in the weeks and months after initial discovery. And she is also less defensive about it.

As far as what Id need for closure, not only do I feel like I need to know all of the details (much of which are probably now forever lost to time and fading memory), but I think that Id like to hear my wife apologize for each and every way she hurt me. And it's not just enough to apologize. It would have to be done in a way that sounds truly sincere. Because Ive heard her apologies time and time again, and unfortunately, they don't feel heartfelt. It's always said in a reciting way, and done at my request instead of from a place of true repentance. Ive thought a lot about what this might look like, and it would go something like this:

- For her destructive and unloving behavior which brought complete and utter devastation and chaos to our life.

- For her blaming and gaslighting by saying it was my fault for not showing her enough attention or affection.

- For giving me a crippling anxiety disorder

- For the casual way in which she tossed away my love and devotion.

- For how easily and quickly she fell for someone else's empty words of affirmation and validation

- For trading sex for emotional kibble instead of treating it as the scared act that was supposed to be reserved just for us.

- For exchanging the ultimate carnal pleasure with another man of the type that our mature relationship will never, ever be able to compete with.

- For years of intrusive and unwanted sexual thoughts and images in my head

- For the insecurity caused to me by comparing myself to her AP in countless ways

- For her deceitfulness and the lies she told me to protect her shameful secrets

- For her refusal to accept full responsibly for her actions and for the blame she tried to put on me for what she did.

- For the defensiveness shown when I just needed answers.

- For how she's been more sorrowful for the consequences of her own actions than for the pain inflicted upon me.

- For the lack of empathy towards me.

- For putting me in a position of vulnerability, insecurity and brokenness

- For drip feeding me details

- For the way I have felt totally isolated, for the traumatic nightmares and thoughts that intrude peaceful moments and constantly reopen the wound, and for the PTSD that I cant break free from.

- For the impatience she's sometimes shown in telling me to get over it and stop dwelling on the past

- For the pressure I feel to forgive and forget

- For the shame I felt for staying

- For damaging my confidence, peace of mind, future dreams, health, self esteem, and faith in her as a spouse.

- That she is horrified at what that did to me.

I feel that the proper apology does exist that has the power to banish my trauma, if delivered in a most true way and not faked. I really hope and long for such a cathartic moment but it probably will never come.

Oh, and don't make this mistake if you can help it. I asked my WW if she would take it back, and her answer was that she wouldn't because it "made our relationship stronger". Wrong answer.

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8703239
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gainingclosure ( new member #79667) posted at 8:35 PM on Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Im A BH and this story is so similar to my own that when I first started reading it I thought you may have been my wife that had came here to post w/o my knowledge. Im glad you posted this because I feel less alone now. The parallels are almost uncanny:

- D-Day for me was also 16 years ago on 9/29/2005 when she confessed out of guilt
- Happened at work (w/ a coworker) full blown 9 month EA leading to 6 month PA
- We've since "reconciled"
- Trauma was re-triggered a few weeks ago and I feel like Im at the same place as I was in the days and weeks after d-day
- My wife also says things to me like "we only had sex maybe 8 times" but "I cant remember exactly"
- Trickle truth over the years still to this day.

My trauma was re-triggered when I was going through some of our old photo albums as part of a shadow box project I had wanted to do. I saw photos from around that time and it triggered memories. Theres one photo of my wife holding a vase of roses that I had gifted to her when we went to a 5-star spa resort the week after I had found out, during my "win her back at all costs" crusade of humiliation that was reqiured in order to lift her out of the affair fog. Basically months of me playing the pick-me dance while she was still very emotionally attached to the AP. Months of me ignoring my emotional trauma and stuffing the intense feelings down so as not to scare her off.

To hammer it home, I watched a miniseries on HBO called "Scenes From A Marriage" that is about a WW that leaves her husband and all the fallout that causes. That miniseries REALLY put me back in that head space and I cant seem to shake it. Feelings of insecurity rushed in and the thought of "what if this happened again" came in. I told my wife that I felt we had lost our intimacy over the years (one reason she blames me for her A was a lack of intimacy) and that I wanted to regain it, but that also, I was having a hard time again with thoughts surrounding her affair. Im guessing that some similar trigger event also happened with your H.

It's been a surprise to experience the trauma all over again given that I have gone years w/o ruminating much about it. And now in recent days Ive asked my WW about 10x the amount of questions I asked her after it had happened. Wanting to know extreme levels of details and thoughts of her affair have consumed my days. Im back on this forum, and doing research on the AP, where he lives now, what he's doing now, is he more successful, did he turn out better, would they have gotten married, etc etc. I actually came to this same forum for support after my d-day in 2005 but lost access to my original account and the data seems to have been archived.

I think my desire to know every little detail may be the same as your H. It's rooted in a desire to truly know my spouse, and to know exactly what she was feeling and thinking during the time that it was all hidden from my awareness. I thought I knew my WW but obviously was wrong. I want to know exactly what she experienced and felt in order to expose any last vestiges of the hidden lies and that person that I didn't know. All of the stuff that went on behind my back, I want to know every. last. minute. detail. And yes, Ive discovered a lot of things I didn't know so far as a result of this latest round of questioning, so I want to keep pressing on because who knows when it's all going to stop? I know she wont voluntarily disclose more information unless I ask. So I'll ask and ask and ask until it feels like I was in the same room as they were and in her head for every second of that affair.

Now, since 16 years have gone by, I feel like we are in a different space and can have a new perspective on it, so I think it's useful to bring it back up periodically for this reason. There is no longer a big concern about "will we get a divorce if I tell him this or that". Well, not as much of a concern anyway unless there was a major new revelation. But the details I do know of are really horrible, and I cant imagine much worse to be honest, so anything else would probably be just icing on the shit cake.

We can talk about some of the details now w/o me breaking down crying or flying into a rage, as was more common in the weeks and months after initial discovery. And she is also less defensive about it.

As far as what Id need for closure, not only do I feel like I need to know all of the details (much of which are probably now forever lost to time and fading memory), but I think that Id like to hear my wife apologize for each and every way she hurt me. And it's not just enough to apologize. It would have to be done in a way that sounds truly sincere. Because Ive heard her apologies time and time again, and unfortunately, they don't feel heartfelt. It's always said in a reciting way, and done at my request instead of from a place of true repentance. Ive thought a lot about what this might look like, and it would go something like this:

- For her destructive and unloving behavior which brought complete and utter devastation and chaos to our life.

- For her blaming and gaslighting by saying it was my fault for not showing her enough attention or affection.

- For giving me a crippling anxiety disorder

- For the casual way in which she tossed away my love and devotion.

- For how easily and quickly she fell for someone else's empty words of affirmation and validation

- For trading sex for emotional kibble instead of treating it as the scared act that was supposed to be reserved just for us.

- For exchanging the ultimate carnal pleasure with another man of the type that our mature relationship will never, ever be able to compete with.

- For years of intrusive and unwanted sexual thoughts and images in my head

- For the insecurity caused to me by comparing myself to her AP in countless ways

- For her deceitfulness and the lies she told me to protect her shameful secrets

- For her refusal to accept full responsibly for her actions and for the blame she tried to put on me for what she did.

- For the defensiveness shown when I just needed answers.

- For how she's been more sorrowful for the consequences of her own actions than for the pain inflicted upon me.

- For the lack of empathy towards me.

- For putting me in a position of vulnerability, insecurity and brokenness

- For drip feeding me details

- For the way I have felt totally isolated, for the traumatic nightmares and thoughts that intrude peaceful moments and constantly reopen the wound, and for the PTSD that I cant break free from.

- For the impatience she's sometimes shown in telling me to get over it and stop dwelling on the past

- For the pressure I feel to forgive and forget

- For the shame I felt for staying

- For damaging my confidence, peace of mind, future dreams, health, self esteem, and faith in her as a spouse.

- That she is horrified at what that did to me.

I feel that the proper apology does exist that has the power to banish my trauma, if delivered in a most true way and not faked. I really hope and long for such a cathartic moment but it probably will never come.

Oh, and don't make this mistake if you can help it. I asked my WW if she would take it back, and her answer was that she wouldn't because it "made our relationship stronger". Wrong answer.

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8703240
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 2:06 AM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

gainingclosure: I know that thread jacking is not allowed, but I just can't ignore the amount of pain you still are experiencing and just expressed in your post. Sixteen years is a long time. What makes you think you will feel much better about your WW in ten or twenty years? Your WW's belief that the state of your marriage is stronger because of what she did is jaw-dropping. It looks like you have decided to bare-knuckle the rest of your marriage. It doesn't have to be that way. My divorce from my ex-WW was liberating and long overdue. It took place in year ten of the marriage. We had a three-year-old at the time. I simply cannot imagine being married to her for several decades later.

OP must do everything in her power to become a safe partner. Your WW is not a model she should follow by any means. There are a number of examples contained in this forum of WWs who took such steps. It still may not be enough. Cheating has consequences. Reconciliation is a gift that must be earned by the WS. Her recent revelation that she had a recent EA that she would have turned into a PA if the OM was interested is mind-shattering. Obviously, she did not learn a damn thing after her first affair. She sounds contrite now. The BS is taking a big risk. Maybe OP will finally get it, for a while. I just don't know about the long-term. Her IC should be versed in infidelity and truly hold her feet to the fire. Good luck to them. They will need it.

[This message edited by src9043 at 2:31 AM, Friday, December 10th]

posts: 500   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8703301
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Knitaknee ( new member #71772) posted at 7:31 PM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

gainingclosure,

Amen Brother.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Oct. 7th, 2019   ·   location: Alabama
id 8703513
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 Badwife79 (original poster new member #79641) posted at 12:26 PM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

Emergent8… the same would happen to us a lot during our discussions. I would get very defensive and my BH would get angry then it would just turn into an argument about how things were being handled instead of talking about the A. We are working on this from both ends. I need to open up and be more honest and he is making me feel safe to discuss

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2021
id 8703637
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