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Just Found Out :
A new beginning or the end?

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 workingthroughit137 (original poster new member #79683) posted at 7:15 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Well, here goes nothing. D-Day was Sunday. Things had been so rocky for a few months that I finally sat my wife down and asked her if something was going on. I had no real evidence, but she confessed. We just got married October 22. We've been together for about 4.5 years and have a two year old.

Just to give some background, my wife and I have always had a very turbulent relationship. We're both damaged people who have been through A TON together. Processed close family deaths together. We have a saying in our relationship that we're constantly on the *our names*-coaster. Our relationship is amazing for a week, then awful for a week, then amazing for a month, then awful for a month. I've always rationalized it by saying we're emotional people and this is just the way we'll always be.

Basically since our son was born two years ago, we've had intimacy issues. We had sex maybe 3 or 4 times while she was pregnant which I sort of shrugged about since that's supposedly pretty common. Once our child was born, it wasn't until a Valentine's Day almost a year and a half later that we finally had sex again. During that time is when the problems really started. I resented her horribly for making me feel so rejected all the time. She told me she just didn't feel aroused ever and that her sex drive was gone, again, normal for a nursing mother to feel that way, but I felt terrible nonetheless. When she announced her sex drive was returning, she still rejected me about 99% of the time I made advances. Told me she was feeling disconnected to me because we weren't going on dates and weren't acting like a real couple anymore. Just two roommates raising a baby.

We went to couples counseling starting in July because we wanted to work through our issues before we walked down the aisle. It went fairly well. We started to learn to communicate better and were advised to make intimacy a priority and to break away from the monotony (go on dates, try new things, etc). After about 8 sessions, I decided to call it quits because we still weren't being intimate. We were constantly playing a game of chicken. I wouldn't take her on a date because she wasn't being intimate with me and she wasn't intimate with me because I wouldn't take her on a date. She practically begged me to stick with it. I didn't say no, but told her I wasn't interested and that we should save our money since we had so many wedding expenses. She said in a text to me, and I quote, "I just really don't want us to go down a bad path and I worry that's what will happen if we stop going..". I didn't listen. I have so much regret over that.

She confessed and I was completely shocked; Not that she was cheating, but the nature of the affair. This coworker is someone who I've met and I've always had a bad feeling about. When she got the job over two years ago, I saw a very flirty text from him on her phone and blew up on her. She said it was nothing and that she only allowed it to continue because she was new at this firm and he was some big shot attorney high up on the ladder. She confronted him and work and told him to stop, and according to her, he did. I do actually believe her.

It has to be said, and I hope you all believe me when I say this and don't think it's just me blaming myself as is a common response from people who are cheated on: A large part of this is my fault. I've gotten so angry with her over the last year or so that I've said and done so many rotten, awful things to her to make her feel like I no longer loved her. I haven't gotten her a birthday present in two years. I've told her we're just staying together for our son. In an emotional state during so many fights, I've done everything I can to hurt her as bad as I can while she's largely been respectful towards me. It isn't possible for me to catalog everything here. She's dreamed her whole life about being a mother and I've taken advantage of the fact that I know she'd never leave because it would cut time with our child in half. I used it as a free pass to emotionally abuse her.

I'm devastated. When she confessed, she told me she feels awful that she hurt me, but her feelings about it are complicated because she genuinely believed our time as a genuine couple was over based on the things I've said and the way things were going. It makes sense. It's telling that she says she loves him. She tried, and tried, and tried, to get me to love her and I just wouldn't do it. This wasn't a sexual fling, she went looking for what I wasn't giving her. I ranted for a while about it. I didn't yell, but I was angry. We sat quietly for a minute. Tears in her eyes. Then for whatever reason, I just went over to her and embraced her. She broke down. Said "what have I done?" over and over again. I kissed her and she cried harder saying that she could actually feel something with me that she hadn't felt in a long time like there was actually something there between us. We went up to bed together and just laid in each others arms until we fell asleep.

I didn't know how I'd react to something like this and I'm surprised how I feel: I want to stay. I want to win her back. Why did I have to push her to something like this to remind me how much I care about her? I have so much regret. It eats at me that she was fucking another man while she walked down the aisle. I truly didn't think she was capable of a lie of this magnitude. She's hasn't been a perfect partner over the years, but god knows neither have I. It's been a grueling process, but we've talked about it every day since D-Day. She answers my questions honestly. She says she doesn't know how to process everything and that she has so many walls up from how I've pushed her away the last year. We're emotionally drained. She says she's resigned to the fact that she's not supposed to be happy, which breaks my heart. I told her she deserves to be happy, and she will be again someday, whether it's with me or not. I truly love her and want her to be happy.

The next few months are going to be about healing for us both individually and as a couple. I'm going to be the best damn partner I can be over the next few months. If her feelings for me return, I think the sky is the limit for us. If they don't, I'll be devastated, but I have to let her go. She means too much to me to keep dragging her down.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2021   ·   location: IA
id 8704798
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:48 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

It is imperative that you each get individual therapy. If you both brought issues from your childhoods I suggest EMDR. Please look it up. Be sure you have an expert in trauma based therapy and in EMDR. It might be that your therapist will recommend an expert in that because it is fairly short. You are controlled by your hidden memories. Your fragile child’s mind hid them from you but they steer your life every single day.

When someone walks away let them go
TD Jakes

posts: 3109   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8704801
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:30 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

You have an opportunity to reconcile and heal if both parties are willing to commit and be willing to change.

Change your behavior. Change the way you interact. Change the way you communicate. Change all of it by wanting better for you and your child.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11155   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8704806
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Sufi22 ( new member #75842) posted at 8:45 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Working Through it, so sorry to find you here. It sounds like you and your wife are beginning what is likely to be a long process. You are going to get some excellent advice from people. As you know honesty on both your parts is going to be essential for healing. It sounds like she is being open with you and you both want to recommit. That is a very positive sign. So first things first, has she ended the affair? Has she formally cut contact with her Affair Partner? Is she willing to quit her job and potentially report the affair to HR. Most big law firms frown on senior partners having affairs with subordinates Good luck.

D-day: Aug 3 2018
BH-60 WW-50s
M 21 years
WW had 2 year EA(maybe PA) and 1 year ongoing contact during Covid
1 DD
Trying to R

posts: 17   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2020
id 8704811
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 workingthroughit137 (original poster new member #79683) posted at 8:57 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

She has ended the affair. Unfortunately, she still works at the firm, directly under him, handling day-to-day tasks for him. I told her that if we're ever to make it work, she'll need to find a new job. I'm not going to be pushy since it's the holidays coming up, but I told her it's non-negotiable. She loves her job and I could tell she hated it, but she said she understands. The firm she works at is so small that they don't really even have an HR.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2021   ·   location: IA
id 8704814
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Sufi22 ( new member #75842) posted at 11:45 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

If she's a direct report in a small company then there's no way to avoid contact. Can she take leave for a couple of weeks while you figure things out? Seems like the last thing you need is continuing easy access.

D-day: Aug 3 2018
BH-60 WW-50s
M 21 years
WW had 2 year EA(maybe PA) and 1 year ongoing contact during Covid
1 DD
Trying to R

posts: 17   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2020
id 8704844
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:21 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Hi, working, understand there is NEVER any justification for an affair. Ever. Please do not accept blame for her actions, she owns them.

How long was the affair? She chose to walk down the aisle knowing she was sleeping with another man. Maybe you were cruel to her, but this is the ultimate betrayal IMO. She could have postponed the wedding, she stood in front of you and family and friends and made a commitment to only you. All the while she was in bed with her coworker. You should be in your honeymoon phase despite having a child.

Honestly, I think she should turn in her notice. Not one more day working with this man. Is he married?

If she is truly committed to you and your marriage, her job should be low on her priority list. She can look for another job right after the holidays.

Also understand that healing from an affair takes years, not weeks or months. She lost your trust, she will have to work very hard to regain it. Her actions, not her words, will speak volumes.

IC for both of you is non-negotiable. I'd put off MC because you need to deal with the trauma of infidelity first.

posts: 11381   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8704850
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 12:45 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

As with all of these stories, it is heartbreaking to read the unnecessary pain BSs go through. I don't know if your marriage can be fixed but if your WW is willing to try, she must do the following immediately. Her AP is a predator. He took advantage of his supervisory position over her to initiate the affair. He must pay big time. Your wife must see an attorney (certainly not where she works) that specializes in sexual harassment. Even if your wife was complicit in the affair, the dynamics of the working relationship make the AP a predator and sexual harasser. A lawsuit should be filed against the firm and the AP personally. She must give notice immediately to the senior partner, citing the affair as the reason. She should personally hand a written complaint against the AP to the senior partner.

She must personally notify the AP's wife or significant other if one exists of the affair. She must immediately send a written communication to the AP of no contact.

If your WW balks at any of this, you have nothing to work with and must file for divorce immediately. You, personally, should notify the senior partner of the affair on your way out.

I am sorry to be so blunt but her actions require the immediate action I indicate above if you have a chance at working on the marriage. She simply cannot continue to work with the AP one more minute. You should not tolerate it for one second regardless of how lousy of a husband you may have been. But the fact that your wife has refused to be intimate with you for so long obviously signals very serious marital problems. But before any of it can be addressed, she must take those initial steps as a sign she is willing to try and fix the marriage.

posts: 500   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8704854
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 6:20 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

I'm not going to condone her affair, however, by your own account:

1) You are an abuser

I used it as a free pass to emotionally abuse her.

2) You are self-centered and self-absorbed

I didn't listen.

3) You rug-sweep problems

I've always rationalized it by saying we're emotional people and this is just the way we'll always be.

4) You are immature enough to have walked away from marriage counseling because you weren't getting laid

After about 8 sessions, I decided to call it quits because we still weren't being intimate.

5) You prioritized spending money on a wedding (the party) instead of spending it on the relationship. (the intimacy)

6) Instead of discussing your feelings, you beat up her self esteem.

I've gotten so angry with her over the last year or so that I've said and done so many rotten, awful things to her to make her feel like I no longer loved her.

7) You ignored her.

I haven't gotten her a birthday present in two years.

8) You demeaned her, and basically challenged her to leave you

I've told her we're just staying together for our son.

9) You've intentionally inflicted tremendous pain on her

I've done everything I can to hurt her as bad as I can while she's largely been respectful towards me.

10) You've manipulated her

I've taken advantage of the fact that I know she'd never leave because it would cut time with our son in half.

You've gone from not loving her to needing to be pushed into being reminded that you cared about her, to truly loving her.

She tried, and tried, and tried, to get me to love her and I just wouldn't do it

I want to stay. I want to win her back. Why did I have to push her to something like this to remind me how much I care about her?

I truly love her and want her to be happy.

Can you read that and believe that know what love is? Or do you not like to lose to the competition or perhaps even not want to lose your punching bag.

What would you tell a friend who described a relationship like this? Would you tell him he can fix it by being

the best damn partner I can be over the next few months?

Or would you recognize that the person outlined above has serious emotional and attachment issues. Maybe that's the result of close family deaths, maybe it's underlying personality issues. But either way, that person has no business being in a relationship until he fixes himself - because an emotionally-stunted abuser cannot be a good partner, or a good father. Abusers don't spread love, they spread trauma.

The next few months are going to be about healing for us both individually and as a couple.

I'd recommend a six-month trial separation in which you focus on nothing but doing some seriously difficult therapy looking at your core wounds and trying to figure out why your moral compass allows you to treat anyone, let alone your wife and the mother of your child, in the way that you treated her. Take a copy of your post to your first appointment.

As for your wife, she should spend that time figuring out why she's co-dependent and whether her relationship with you is based on trauma bonding and what else she has going on, that allowed her to break her vows. And if she has full or nearly full custody of your son, then you'll find out if she comes back into the relationship because she wants it to work, or because you manipulated her to be there.

Maybe, if you work really hard, in six months you'll have a wee bit of insight, maybe even enough to reconcile, but dealing with your issues so you can be a healthy partner and father will likely take years.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 6:35 AM, Saturday, December 18th]

posts: 308   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8704880
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Dazedandconfused1978 ( member #79527) posted at 11:34 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Speaking from experience, she MUST quit her job. Non negotiable. I know there will be financial implications, but you must choose your marriage over a job. She can and will find another job. But like the others have said, if the 2 of you don’t get therapy, whats to stop another affair at another job? I was like you I thinking I must have been the reason. My wife stated her affair was based on the attention she was craving and got validation from someone else. Could I have done more? Sure, but she has a validation problem and was prone to find it wherever she could. She’s in therapy now and making great strides. The two of you can too. But the job has to go. Trust me. You don’t want her seeing him everyday and just knowing the chance/opportunity is there will prove to be a huge detriment to your success at R. Best of luck. This all sucks so bad.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2021
id 8704897
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Badwife79 ( new member #79641) posted at 2:42 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

BS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:44 PM, Saturday, December 18th]

posts: 29   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2021
id 8704918
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LookWhatYouDid ( new member #78771) posted at 3:28 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

I tell you 2 years down this journey that she needs to leave the job. My wife and I both agreed to try to make it work with her staying at her job. COVID and the AP getting transferred to another location helped make it easier, but there were still work reasons for contact... sometimes it'd be once a month, other times multiple times per week. We tried this for a year, it severely impacted us. If I could go back in time, leaving her job would have been condition #1 to start reconciliation. I thought we could handle it, and I guess that we did, but it just made a challenging situation that much more complex.

The only positive I can glean from that time is my wife's absolute unwavering transparency. There were so many small things (just being CC'ed on a fairly mundane business item) that she disclosed that would have been easier for her to delete and not tell me. She didn't though. She disclosed with a screenshot and a phone call or text within minutes each time.

All of this really did lay a foundation for us. Still, I think I'd just take those gains another way. You both need this intruder out of your lives if you want to start healing.

posts: 8   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021
id 8704924
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lostindenial ( new member #79420) posted at 3:56 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

I have so many mixed emotions reading your post. For whatever reasons, you two imperfect people are trying to get it perfect for your next generation. Please consider this a wake up call for your relationship and prevent it to cascade it to your child. Everyone has said it
1) you need therapy. Not joint but separate for six months before you can even begin to be together
2) please ensure that AP’s spouse/wife/partner knows. If anyone hesitated to take it there, it means there is more to it than meets the eye and it has the potential to be more in future.
3) after that, she needs to find another job. There is no other choice here. Recon cannot start without it.
Many of us are living with this all day every day wounded, suspicious, lost, lacking trust and hope for the world and future. If you do not spend time right now on this, you simply perpetuated the problem to next generation.
Hugs and please listen to all the advice here.

posts: 42   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2021   ·   location: FL
id 8704929
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 5:44 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Holidays or not, she should quit her job immediately. If she actually worried about losing you, she wouldn't even want to go back, ever. I mean she works for him directly!

If she won't or makes you feel like you are making her do it, reconciliation isn't possible. Dont bother. If she wants to be around a man that she betrayed her family with, the affair isn't over and she doesn't want it to be. The pick me dance won't work.

You should focus on fixing yourself. Not the relationship but you. She is going to do what she's going to do and you should only watch her actions to determine if you even want to offer reconciliation.

posts: 150   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8704946
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GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 7:18 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

You're not gonna like what I have to say, but these 2 things...


1 - you taking blame and comforting her when she's the cheater

Coupled with

2 - her still working with him

Is a prime recipe for future ddays.

posts: 2661   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8704954
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DeWittle ( member #50857) posted at 8:04 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Not helpfull

[This message edited by DeWittle at 8:15 PM, Saturday, December 18th]

posts: 336   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2015
id 8704957
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 8:45 PM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021

PM for you Badwife79

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

posts: 55012   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8704961
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:39 PM on Sunday, December 19th, 2021

** Posting as a member **

I read one of the posts above as justifying an A and blaming the BS.

There is simply no justification for an A. Workingthroughit137 does admit to being a lousy, perhaps abusive H, but the best solution to that (for his W) is to leave, not to stay and start an A.

Also, working is taking ownership of his dysfunction, and that's one of the first steps in changing from lousy partner to good one.

*****

Working,

My view is that you ARE in a very tough place, and you have a lot of work to do. One of the most urgent pieces of your work is to process the anger, grief, fear, shame, etc. that were dumped on you on d-day. Those feelings are normal, but they can also trigger similar old feelings and mess up your recovery from both new and old feelings.

My reco is to separate the new from the old. You've probably got a LOT of pain stored in your body. Learn - as quickly as possible - to monitor what you're feeling and keep asking yourself something like, 'Is this from the A, or is it from FOO or from other dysfunctions in my relationship with my W?'

Further, I recommend putting aside thoughts of D vs R for the time being, until you get through the shock of d-day.

Focus on living a healthy life. Drink lots of water (not coffee, not tea, not alcohol, not soda). Move your body. Eat healthful food, if you can eat. Sleep if you can, and don't worry about not sleeping - have faith in your body to get enough sleep to muddle through this period. (You may get over-tired, but worrying about sleep will probably make it harder to sleep anyway.)

I, too, believe you can't make the changes you want without the help of a good therapist, so make finding a good therapist a very high priority in your life.

I agree that your W needs a good therapist, too ... but that's about her, and she's not posting here.

As a kid you learned some nasty ways to get through life, probably for good reasons. But the adaptations you made to live in your childhood and adolescent circumstances hurt you and others as an adult. Luckily, you are an adult, and you can change yourself. Go for it.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:41 PM, Sunday, December 19th]

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: 26513   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8705037
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:14 PM on Sunday, December 19th, 2021

My guess is the A started before MC and she lied throughout. She was having you play the pick me dance without telling you about the A.

I doubt there is a healthy relationship to be had between the two of you.

If she wants to R, she should give you a complete written timeline of the A and a polygraph to confirm. She still works with her AP, which even if she has ended the A for now basically makes healing impossible (ask me how I know and what a year+ of foot dragging feels like).

As for you behavior, absolutely recognize you were wrong in treating her that way. Fix yourself and your issues. But don't do it to win her back. Do it to be a better person.

You have to fix the A and the abuse before you can do anything else. You basically have two mountains to move. Good luck, sending strength.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8705063
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 10:13 PM on Sunday, December 19th, 2021

Those ups and downs you describe in your relationship, to me, a serious lack of relationship skills on both your parts.

At this point, cheating totally aside- you two sound completely unable to have a healthy relationship.

Rather than clinging to the marriage, I think you both need to focus on breaking your negative patterns and learning healthier ways to deal with issues. I don't really believe that would be possible when staying in a relationship where these poor patterns are so entrenched, honestly.

I don't think you can do it on your own. I think you both need intensive IC to help you become a healthier partner for future relationships.

To me, the cheating is just the icing on this very dysfunctional cake. I'm sorry.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 3 years) & DBF (dating 2 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 745   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8705067
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