Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: KMS60087

Just Found Out :
My world has turned upside down.

default

Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 10:43 PM on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

I'm sorry you are here, but I'm glad you found us. That was a hard read, your WW is a prominent SERIAL CHEATER, I always suggest D when it comes to those and LTAs. Your WW would have left you for one of the OMs had he not left for TX and remained in town, she stayed because she knew she would have lost a full custody battle with you, based on this alone I would file for D immediately, you asked for honesty and I honestly suggest you find a D lawyer and file for D, life's too short, she's proven over and over and over again she's not a safe partner who loves you and who has your best interest at heart, heck she has betrayed you and her children in the most horrible way, don't forget to get tested for STDs/STIs, they could remain dormant for years. Keep posting frequently.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 10:44 PM, Tuesday, December 21st]

posts: 2499   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8705365
default

Aletheia ( member #79172) posted at 1:28 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

I question the threesome story. If his wife was even there, I feel like there were other times she wasn't. OP I'm really sorry you're going through this. That you are still with this woman, no words. There's unlikely anything anyone could say to make you leave her. You've built in excuses for her in your head due to her BPD and her sexual abuse, which I do not minimize! That is horrible and I feel so badly for her. But that doesn't explain or excuse her serial infidelity. And it doesn't give her carte blanche to abuse you. You're like a frog in water that's been heating up over the course of 24 hours that you don't even realize you're being boiled alive. Someone got this part right, you only get one life. Please please please enroll in some intensive therapy immediately. I'll say it, a healthy individual doesn't tolerate this. Wishing you well.

Your best must be just as glorious as your betrayal was destructive.

Don’t allow people to "Life is short" you to amend bad relationships. Forgiveness /= reconciliation. Leave them people where they are. Life was short when they did what they did.

posts: 226   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2021
id 8705383
default

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 3:01 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

What you have endured through your marriage is significant. My xh cheated for 10 years with a five yr LTA - I could not rebound from it - you have gone through more.

Take your time to figure out what is right for you. Just know you deserve fidelity, and to feel safe in your marriage. Right now you do not have a trustworthy wife. I truly hope she has been faithful for the last 9 years, I can’t help but ask, do you believe it? Cheaters tend to keep on lying.

I am sorry that you have gone through this, you must feel so betrayed and heart sick. Please take some time for personal care. Make sure you eat well, try to sleep and take a break for yourself.

Lots of hugs.

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1785   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8705391
default

 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 4:31 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Thank you all for reaching out and I am hearing you. I can answer or respond to a few questions and comments about what happened.

1. The best friend is no longer a part of our lives. The moment I found out about the threesome, he was done. He has been purged from my social media and she has done the same. He has been blocked and deleted from all of our accounts. Of all the affairs, this one has been the most emotional to deal with for several reasons I'll discuss later. He now lives thousands of miles away.

2. I was unaware of the affairs in 2012 and the threesome until a few months ago. When they were happening she was able to hide them well because I trusted her and because I was working or attending school to better our situation. I was unaware she was dropping my kids off at a friends to run off with them. So they were all disclosed at once in September.

3. We are both in therapy right now. I am seeing someone alone and we are attending marriage therapy. She is looking for her own therapist to work with individually. Insurance is her hold up. I am covered by the VA and she is not. We are researching her mental illness and have already read a ton of books on the subject. "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me", "Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide for You and Your Relationship", "Unf#ck Your Brain", "Loving Someone with BPD", "BPD from the Husbands POV" and several more. And after reading those books, it was like reading an autobiography of our marriage.

My wife and I talk every day. We set up rules and boundaries on how we converse, making sure we ask for breaks when things get too emotional or heated. She has become more intimate and works to make sure my feelings are addressed. She has also been working on when she starts having issues. When she gets mad or starts to think I'm being an jerk, she now stops and forces herself to reevaluate what I actually did or said and then calms herself down. I've caught her doing it a few times, so she is definitely working on how to cope and react when she has an episode. She is doing the work and being open and is showing the motivation to fix herself and our relationship and she knows the degree to what she did. She has apologized and has now done everything to make sure I know what she is doing, who she talks to, where she is and allows me free access to her phone at anytime. As long as she is doing the work there is a chance we can reconcile if I can get over what she did. The intrusive thoughts are one of the biggest problems I face with this.

4. Why did I forgive my best friend the first time? It was not easy. We were both getting out of the service, he a month before I was. We were going to be cops together and he didn't want to move back to his home state. When they had the affair, I was still out processing at my duty stations while they were in my home state and they just hooked up. We were all very close at the time. They didn't hide it and told me and it took me a few years to get over it. But when we started hanging out again, he had his own family and it felt normal and there was no tension and we let it go. It wasn't something that happened over night or that I shrugged off. He was my brother, my closest friend. I never expected him to betray me again 8 years later.

5. My wife's BPD was diagnosed while seeing our marriage counselor. When she was being questioned about the affairs, she would explain her feelings when they happened and the counselor noticed some of her behaviors matched traits for BPD and she was diagnosed officially a few sessions later. She did not use the condition as an excuse, but it answered questions on why she thought the way she did back then. Why she felt like she hated me and why she felt I did not show her attention when I did. These were things she told the therapist before her diagnoses. It wasn't an excuse she thought to use. However, after learning about BPD, the warning signs were painfully obvious. We both missed them and how I handled her during that time was the complete opposite of how her mental illness should have been treated. She knew what she did was wrong and did it anyway. She has no excuses for it. But neither of us were prepared to handle her diagnosis and didn't have the tools to be effective communicators and that is something I do regret. I saw something was wrong, but thought she was just depressed.

6. My wife says she's been faithful for the last 9 years. I believe her for several reasons. The first is that we moved over an hour away from that area, from the city to a rural community where there was very few people. Second, she left all her friends behind. I was already reclusive due to my PTSD and my best friend and his wife were really the only people I talked to. She started isolating herself as well because of where we lived and her own depression. Third, she stopped drinking, going from every week to maybe a few drinks a year. These are things she did on her own. She has worked for me, so when she gets to and leaves work, I know for a fact due to our GPS report system. She comes straight home and goes straight to work. Since we still have a nearly 2 hour work commute, its hard for her to hide it. Fourth, our relationship got a lot better. She was becoming less standoffish, becoming more affectionate, and her demeanor towards me was better. She did not appear bitter. We started doing more things together as a couple such as scuba diving, going on cruises, and just hanging out as a couple.

7. I've been in the hospital numerous times over the last few years for surgeries and injures and I get my blood tested pretty regularly by the VA. I seem to have labs every 6 months. All clear. Kids are mine, the time frames don't match up by years. And right now, the only people who know are our therapists and the AP's. We have not disclosed to anyone else. She actually was the one who recommended I find a forum to go to and discuss my feelings since I don't have any friends or family can talk to.

8. People criticizing my wife and saying there is more she's not telling me. I agree that there is a lot I still don't know. Because it was so long ago, she says there are some things she doesn't remember. There have been things she did not remember accurately and some of those inaccurate recollections resulted in some serious arguments. But, she now makes clear that when she recalls something, its based on what she remembers and she differentiates what she remembers as facts and what she believes to be true but the details are fuzzy. For me, I want to believe her because she seems sincere, but she has seriously betrayed my trust and I do have my doubts. However, we have her social media accounts, journal entries she has made from back then and other information that has helped fill in the blanks. It has not been pretty and its been brutal reading the things she wrote back then. But understand this: she confessed to affairs I had no clue about. She could have continued denying it, but she didn't and we've both been going thru an emotional time right now. A lot of crying and arguing and consoling. She has given me some very brutal, gory details that I asked for. She has tried to shield me early in the discovery process, but now she is painfully brutal. And even though she has had 9 years to think and process what she had done, she is now riding my processing what happened with me.

We have a long way to go and what my final decision will be will ultimately be on whether or not I can get over it emotionally and mentally and whether or not she keeps doing the work and doesn't revert back to her past behavior. I know that as someone with BPD, she has a hard fight and I am willing to help her do that, but no longer at the expense of my emotions or mental health.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8705401
default

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:53 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Thanks for the update.

I still recommend you figure out what a deal breaker would be.

I believe you will be in Sisyphus mode for some time. But as I used to have in my signature, according to Camus, we must imagine Sisyphus happy.

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

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8705404
default

 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 5:08 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Aletheia

The threesome was a huge issue for us.

First, for my best friend and his wife, who I thought of like family, to call my wife and ask her to do a threesome and none of them even thought about me is straight up BS. Clearly none of them ever considered me when they planned it out and that says a lot. My wife gave me the details and I think it was a real threesome. When she originally told me the story, it was about having sex with his wife. Why lie about that to hide an affair between the two of them? A three way betrayal is much worse than just the two of them. I had done a lot of things for them, helped them out in a lot of ways, and for them to do that was painful. I was always there for them emotionally, when they needed help financially, and when he needed support to get through the police academy. I always had their back. And while my wife is solely responsible for allowing it to happen because she should have said no, he should have never asked either.

What bothers me is my wife's relationship with my best friend. For example, she said the threesome was about his wife. And when she told me the details about it, I told her the threesome was for him. They spent a significant amount of time giving his wife attention, but if the threesome was about his wife, then why was it that he and my wife were the only ones to have intercourse. I told her if the threesome was for his wife, they never would have had sex, the he and his wife would. She disagrees with me, even still. When it was time to cut him from our lives, that was when she got upset the most. She claims it was because I would be throwing away a 21 year friendship, but to me it, it was because it would end their friendship. I felt that the second relationship she had in 2012 was with a guy who reminded her of my best friend. She says I am wrong, but there are too many similarities. Both are tall, 6'3 and 6'4. Both are the country boy types, Both are Ford guys. Both act in that stupid, goofy, funny way. Both wanted to be cops. They had the same hairstyle and facial hair. Listen to the same types of music, etc. They even looked alike and had similar traits. But when I told her that she was looking for a replacement for my best friend, she strongly denies it, even still. So the best friend is a raw topic for us.

She claims she regretted it the moment she started to drive home and it was never discussed between them again. But for me, I would talk to them, joke with them, hang out with them for years and never new this secret they had about my own wife. When it was disclosed, it was humiliating and shameful. You start thinking that during the whole time, they were laughing at you in their heads. And then you wonder how people who say they loved you and acted like they were your family could stoop so low. And this is why my inner circle looks like a dot. Betrayal by those closest to you ruin any chance to trust others in the future. And that's why I have a hard time making friends.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8705405
default

 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 5:19 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

This0is0Fine

I am already at the breaking point. There will be no more chances. Frankly, her behavior and my emotional well being are all that's holding this together. The thinnest of strings. One lie, one slip up, the wrong comment in an argument, or if I have a bad day and I get an overwhelming intrusive thought, I'm done talking and I'm walking. The only reason why I am even still here is because it was over 9 years ago, because we have kids, because there was her undiagnosed mental health issues and there are a lot of good things in our history as well that should have some value. She is putting in the effort to make it right, we'll see if she can. I don't have to walk away today. But I also don't have to stay forever either. I can bide my time and see how I feel, see if our therapy works, and then make a decision later.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8705408
default

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:34 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Losing a friend who was as close as a sibling is also a hard loss. We have several threads in the I Can Relate section which might give you more insight and maybe a little comfort. There's one about Double Betrayal, another about Personality Disorders, and one about Finding Out Years Later. Right now, I suspect you're feeling very alone in your situation... but you're not. Sometimes, it just helps a little to know that.

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 8705409
default

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:50 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

But I also don't have to stay forever either. I can bide my time and see how I feel, see if our therapy works, and then make a decision later.

As good a plan as any. 👍

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

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8705410
default

 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 5:59 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

ChamomileTea,

I am feeling lonely. No one to talk to about it except her and the therapists, but it's not the same as having a friend to confide in. But I've kept it close to vest to protect my kids and to avoid feeling like I'm getting stared out. My sister is a gossip, my mom is judgemental and if we reconcile, my mom may never give her a fair shake and that'll be another stressor in our life we don't need. So it gets to be hard. She does her best to listen, but sometimes I just want to vent angrily and that's not helpful.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8705411
default

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 6:17 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

With the BPD element, it's going to be really hard for you to find time to invest in yourself, and really, that's soooo important for healing. Relearning how to really love and care for yourself is the key to becoming emotionally STRONG again. I hope you'll talk about that in IC. You can journal here or in a notebook at home; that helps too. But I think something big for you is going to be getting out and doing some stuff just for you. Maybe that's picking up a new hobby, going for some meet-ups to find new friends, working out at the gym, whatever. It needs to be about you adding to the quality of YOUR LIFE. I think it will help you feel more energized and less depleted if you spend some time developing your sense of SELF, as in who you are when you aren't wearing your BH, dad, provider hats. You've been betrayed by your best friend too, and that's a source of grief which is going to take time to process. Right now, it's left a hole in your life and I expect you're feeling sad and at loose ends about it.

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 8705413
default

Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 12:39 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

I really appreciate your care and concern for your wife and her mental illness despite multiple betrayals. It doesn't mean you will reconcile successfully or that you should, but offering even a chance for reconciliation in such circumstances is a beautiful thing when it comes from a place of strength and not desperation.

While in the Army I had a close friend betray my trust with my girlfriend. It did not go nearly as far as what happened with your "friend" but it was painful nonetheless. My gf told me what happened and she was naive about it. When I returned home, I pressed the eject button on the friendship with little hesitation. In one way I rugswept it because I didn't give him a chance to explain.

When I read about your capacity for forgiveness, I am impressed. But obviously it burned you with that former friend. It appears you have eyes wide open right now and that is excellent as you move forward through this enormously difficult time. Your ability to discuss and reflect with your wife is also a big, big strength whether you R or D.

posts: 441   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8705433
default

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 3:05 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

One of the things that you typed that struck me as a potential last straw, was your statement that if anything that goes wrong it may mean you walk. One of the things I tried to do when we talked about staying together was defining my dealbreakers and talking to my wayward about them.

I think it may be helpful because it defines lines that can’t be crossed and encourages discussion around expectations on both sides. It may calm things a bit and give you some room to have more of a relationship, maybe by adding this clarity can create some space for you to work on things. my ex didn’t know what was ok or not ok, so we talked it through.

Lying was a deal breaker for me. So we talked about white lies, lying by omission (which is what he did and ultimately why I asked him to leave), etc. the good thing is we defined the rules, set expectations, and it got us talking. And it was harder than I expected. After 26 yrs together we had different definitions, so we worked through examples of what was bad, good, reasonable, fair and line crossing. It gave me comfort. The tricky part is that it may feel controlling to the WS, but it shouldn’t be, it is clarity. When it came to separating, it actually helped me decide or remember what I could no longer afford in my marriage. It was lying by omission which is a cheater specialty. I had asked very specifically about is there anything else you have done, he omitted 5 yrs of massages with happy endings. In all truth, it was harder to face the decision myself, than it was to tell to tell him. I wanted so so badly to be married to him, to keep loving him. But after years of lying, and so many chances to tell the truth, he just kept lying.

Maybe my share will help you.

Take care

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 3:08 PM, Wednesday, December 22nd]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1785   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8705452
default

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:17 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Yup. 'World turned upside down' is a good way to describe finding out you've been betrayed. To call it painful and disorienting just doesn't describe the pain and disorientation of the damage.

Be kind to yourself - you really do hurt, and at this point you almost definitely don't even know how much you can hurt from this. Have faith in yourself to heal. You really can survive and thrive, whether you D or R.

*****

Eleven years ago on this day, my W revealed her A. She immediately changed. She still feels awful about herself, but I think she's been (fully) truthful and fully committed to our M since then. The A is in the past. I'm glad we R'ed.

You're a few months from d-day, but you've had 9 years to observe your W. You know some of the things that will cause you to walk. Maybe you can use more work on that, but maybe what you've decided so far is good enough. Your W seems to have changed over the past 9 years, and you indicate she's ready to change more. You're in therapy, your W is looking for a therapist, and you've both got an MC to help you.

All of the above, and the other things you've written, say to me that both R and D are eminently doable for you. My reco is to make use of your freedom and figure out what you want - then go for it. I emphasize 'what you want' - don't let anyone else decide for you. Don't worry about what others might think of you - no matter what you do, you'll have supporters and detractors.

IMO, the vast majority of us (BSes) experience immense anger, grief, fear, and shame when we find we've been betrayed. Feeling weak, disgusting, etc. for wanting to R is par for the course. Those feelings come from your self-talk - change your self-talk, and you'll change the feelings. I don't mean it's easy, but it is doable. For most of the last 11 years, my self-talk has been something like, 'I had to make a choice, and I made it. I'm happy with my choice, and I do not care what others think about it. After all, I have to deal with negative self-talk no matter what course I chose.'

Also, expect to have to compromise. There's no excuse for cheating. Cheating is unacceptable. Some people R and appear to accept the cheating. One does have to accept it happened, but I don't accept cheating as anything but a despicable act. The problem is that it's one set of actions among many. We all have to do some sort of calculation to decide whether the good we've experienced with our partner outweighs the bad or vice versa. As you heal, you'll be able to do the calculation that will be useful to you. WHat matters most, IMO, is that you do your own calculations. Live your life. Don't let others tell you how to live it.

Again, you've got a world of options, each with its own difficulties. Be kind to yourself. It will be easier to deal with the difficulties of the path you choose if you choose the path you want.

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 8705470
default

redbaron007 ( member #50144) posted at 6:35 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Fourth, our relationship got a lot better. She was becoming less standoffish, becoming more affectionate, and her demeanor towards me was better. She did not appear bitter. We started doing more things together as a couple such as scuba diving, going on cruises, and just hanging out as a couple.

Sorry for your pain OP, you're a victim of a serial cheater, and these are the worst. If reading such a story was so painful for me, I cannot imagine how painful it is to live it. You have been horribly abused by your WW for years - plain and simple. Right now, likely you're suffering from trauma bonding. When your abuser decides to comfort you or apologizes, your brain latches on to the positive reinforcement rather than thinking through the long-term effects of staying with the abuser.

This was not a ONS situation that was instantly regretted and confessed the next day. This went on for years, with multiple men, including repeat cheating with your best friend. From the highlighted part in your post above, it appears she was often bitter, standoffish, less affectionate and her demeanor likely reflected that during these years. So even though she hid her affairs from you for years, it did impact your marriage during the entire time.

From 2009 to 2014, we faced a ton of hardships. 2012 was our worst year. My biggest problem came from a mostly sexless marriage since our second daughter was born. By sexless, I'm referring to one to three times a month if anything at all. I was romantic to her, giving her roses, buying her chocolate, making her dinner, taking her out and watching TV together on the couch. We didn't have a lot of money, so we made do. She just never appeared interested.


She was not interested in sex with you, but fucking the other guys. This one is common.

In April of 2012, she met a guy at work who started talking to her. They started dating for a few months and were having sex in his car because he currently live with his parents. They would have sex in random parking lots. I never met this guy, but he met my kids. She fell in love with him and when she found out he was moving to Texas to be with his kids, they discussed her going with him. She realized I would fight her for custody and decided she couldn't go with him. She said after he left, she never had another affair because it was heartbreaking.


You say she's been faithful for 9 years, well, that's not because she realized she was hurting you. As she herself has said, its because of the "heartbreak" it caused her when this asshole moved to Texas. You were never part of the picture, it was all about her.

Please don't stay for the kids - they will be fine as long as you both coparent responsibly.

There are PLENTY of emotionally healthy women with whom you can go scuba diving, go on cruises, and just hang out as a couple, you really don't have to stick with your serial cheater spouse.

I hope you have the courage to leave your abuser and heal, and find love in a healthy relationship. I wish you strength.

[This message edited by redbaron007 at 7:18 PM, Wednesday, December 22nd]

Me: BS (44)
She: WS (41)
One son (6)
DDay: May 2015 (OBS told me)
Divorced, Zero regrets, sound sleep, son doing great!
A FOG is just a weather phenomenon. An Affair Fog is a clever excuse invented by WS's to explain their continued bad behavior.

posts: 232   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2015   ·   location: West Coast
id 8705482
default

Western ( member #46653) posted at 12:54 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

I would take advantage of multiple legal opinions to see where you would stand in case you decide to pull the plug.

I have a hard time believing she has been faithful for the last 9 years. Serial cheaters normally can't flip a switch and stop cheating.

BPD is a bad thing but tons of people who have BPD don't cheat. I would really be quick to analyze how much of this was the BPD and how much of this was her own greed. I just wouldn't take her word on it after so many betrayals.

You were always available to help her with the BPD but that disease doesn't absolve her of her behavior either. It shouldn't be your cross to bear.

I would have one question though. Why is she now trying to fix things ? Why not 2008, 2010, 2012 ? What has changed ? What is her motive ?

posts: 3523   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2015   ·   location: U.S.
id 8705560
default

Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

I would caution you not to use your WW's BPD as a crutch. Crutches are a drug for people who can't handle reality, to twist that old phrase.

Even without infidelity, being married to somebody with an illness such as BPD (or alcoholism, etc.) is very, very difficult. It's pretty much a constant lifelong battle. Possibly noble in some ways - an extreme example of the "worse" part of "for better or worse" - but also possibly co-dependent to the point of being dysfunctional and self-defeating.

When you add infidelity to the mix, it is a slippery slope toward toxic co-dependency. The threesome is a perfect example. From what you describe, your WW had a long-term EA/PA with your friend. WAY inappropriate, for years, carried on in your home, in your close social circle, immediately in front of your face. As sadistic and sick as any thread I've read here on SI. It is wildly inaccurate, never mind unfair to you, to now try to retroactively blame it on the BPD. BPD tends to manifest itself in episodes. The prolonged infidelity with your friend was a continuum of behavior that your WW indulged for years. As you note, you were the unwitting brunt of their private three-way joke, and your WW repeatedly allowed you to be put in that situation. That's not BPD, my friend. That's nothing short of outright contempt for you. Further, as you note, the three-way was about the man, your friend. Maybe his wife found it hot too, but it was about giving him the double thrill of casual sex with somebody new, plus naughty, illicit sex with his friend's wife, in the presence of and with the participation of his own wife, so the three of them could chortle about it amongst themselves whenever the four of you were together.

The foregoing is offered not to inflame your anger, but to point out what to me seems obvious, but from your posts seems like it might be mired in the muck of all of the stuff you're dealing with at present. I would caution you to NOT let your WW get away with dismissing her prolonged bullshit as "that's the BPD talking". It's not. It was "that was me, being a shyte person" talking.

Further, this whole "I've been faithful for [blank] years," that's a red herring. A diversion technique. A meaningless tautology. A million cheaters resort to the "I've been faithful since the last time I cheated" schtick. "I never cheated except when I did." Or, "I haven't cheated since the last time I cheated." These are all versions of the same statement.

Your question should be: have the last 9 years been the marriage of my dreams? As to this, I would caution you again. She starved you for affection for decades. In recent years, she's been throwing you some scraps. Like any starving man, a few scraps of rotten meat taste like the most delicious Filet Mignon your imagination could conjure. Don't fall for it.

I saw a documentary recently of a woman who was kidnapped, tortured, raped, and held hostage for years. Eventually she succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome so hard that the man and wife who kidnapped her were able to let her live openly in their home, as part of their family. The man even took her for a visit to her parents and siblings for a holiday dinner, and she willingly returned with him. This, even though at night they still locked her into a coffin-like box beneath the bed. Her "normal" was so warped that the simulacrum of normalcy and kindness offered in bits and pieces to her seemed like wonderful gifts.

To this end, here is what you say:

The first is that we moved over an hour away from that area, from the city to a rural community where there was very few people. Second, she left all her friends behind. I was already reclusive due to my PTSD and my best friend and his wife were really the only people I talked to. She started isolating herself as well because of where we lived and her own depression. Third, she stopped drinking, going from every week to maybe a few drinks a year. These are things she did on her own. She has worked for me, so when she gets to and leaves work, I know for a fact due to our GPS report system. She comes straight home and goes straight to work. Since we still have a nearly 2 hour work commute, its hard for her to hide it. Fourth, our relationship got a lot better. She was becoming less standoffish, becoming more affectionate, and her demeanor towards me was better. She did not appear bitter. We started doing more things together as a couple such as scuba diving, going on cruises, and just hanging out as a couple.

Let's untangle that:

1. You moved away from people and she's now a recluse.

2. She doesn't get sauced frequently like she used to.

3. She comes straight home from work.

4. She's less standoffish (meaning, she is still standoffish, just not as much as before).

5. She can create the appearance of not being bitter.

6. We've done some "friend type" stuff together.

Man, seriously? Is that what you've got after 9 years? What your benchmark should be: "She frequently initiates amazing sex with me. She constantly does little things for me around the house. She surprises me with notes and such reminding me how lucky she is to be married to me. She's even suggested bringing in one of her girlfriends and arranging a three-way for us."

Man, my strongest possible advice is to separate from your WW and gain some perspective. Your approach has been to burrow deeper and deeper into the muck, to become increasingly granular. You're not seeing the forest for the trees, as they say. Back away. Clear your head. Get a real vision of what a healthy relationship should look like. And walk away from your WW unless and until she comes running after you with an actual healthy relationship on offer. I reckon, by the way, that she lacks the ability to do this. She has been accustomed to treating you with contempt and cruelty for so long, I don't think she can figure out how to offer you compassion and love. That's just my opinion, of course, and it's based only on the limited details you offer. But the over-arching thing I think you need, more than anything, is distance and separation from her.

As to one small point:

She claims she regretted it the moment she started to drive home and it was never discussed between them again.

This is cheater 101. Almost every cheater has said some version of this. It's complete bullshit. The first tool in the cheater handbook is to try to minimize the extend of the damage they have caused. For some reason, cheaters seem to resort to the old "I regretted it right away" as an attempt at this. Tell her that if she says this, or any version of it, again, you're leaving. It is a flat-out lie.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 12:28 PM, Friday, December 24th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3808   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8705617
default

 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 9:41 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

First, thanks for the comments, I really appreciate the feedback as I evaluate where my life goes from here. But I do want to address a few issues.

1. Neither my wife or I blame her BPD for her affairs. She has taken full responsibility because she made those decisions on her own. Her diagnosis came during our marriage therapy, not before. And it was our therapist who pointed out that while she made the decisions, she was influenced by her BPD. The symptoms of BPD include self destructive behavior, impulse control problems, boundary problems, have hard time maintaining relationships and pushing people away, risky sexual behavior, mood swings, and the worst is splitting. Imagine hating the person you are married to because of a reason that only exists in your mind. I mean truly hate. After I talked with her friends at the time, the way she described me to them was horrible. She accused me of treating her horribly, ignoring her, and not giving her the attention she wanted. She truly disregarded the good things because her mind wouldn't let her consider them. They have said after I talked to them that they didn't know who I really was. It was night and day to them. In her mind, I was Satan. And that did play a part in her decision making.

2. For 24 years, I was married to two people: my wife and who Robert Page calls "the crazy" in his book "BPD from the Husband's POV". The problem was that I didn't know it at the time. It was a doomed relationship because she always had "the crazy" pushing her against me. And I never saw the signs. None of her friendships lasted, almost always ending with her cutting them off after a disagreement or argument. I'm the longest personal relationship she has ever had. She's now lived with me longer than her parents. And she has shut them out a few times, too. So she has never had successful longterm relationship without conflict. The crazy has forced her to push them away. Since her diagnosis, with therapy and research, we have used new techniques to communicate. I'm cognizant of her feelings and how to address them when she has an issue. I know how to react to her mood swings better, how to make her feel safe, and get her to open up. These were things we couldn't do before because we were unaware. Since her diagnosis, our relationship has gotten stronger and I am now better prepared to help her through her struggles with BPD. If I ultimately decide reconciliation is how to proceed, I am aware of how much work I am going to have to put in to make it work. But so does she.

3. Yes, I am angry. I want her to suffer, I think of revenge against her APs all the time. And I know I can get it. I've never wanted to hit my wife before, but d-day almost pushed me to that point. How I felt and how I feel now eats me up inside. She apologizes everyday. She does her therapy. She reads on her diagnosis. I see her doing the work. That makes me happy. But I also get intrusive thoughts that ruin my day and put me in a funk. I was recently sick with pneumonia and I was having nightmares when I slept and it exacerbated what I was feeling. There are times when she touches me, I don't want her to because I feel disgusted. Like I can somehow feel all of her APs. So I'm well aware of the trauma I'm facing from the betrayal. But something I learned from her BPD, looking at this as all good or all bad is disabling and destructive. I can look at her affairs and make my marriage about those moments, and only those moments, and make her and my marriage into something bad that should be disposed of. But if I look at the entirety of my marriage, I can accept those are just the bad moments, but that there are also more good moments as well. Things we've done on vacations together. The cuddling around a burn pit. The enjoyment of completing a dive together. Enjoying watching our kids succeed as a couple. Reading each other's thoughts. Just holding hands as we walk together. Road trips we have taken together. Just living in the moment together. And then there are the tragedies we went thru together. Me saving her life from carbon monoxide poisoning. The deaths of friends and family members. My health problems and surgeries. And her being there for my PTSD. When I have a nightmare, she's there for me. We are not defined by her affairs. Our marriage is not defined by her affairs.

4. She broke down and started crying and told me she broke me. She pointed out that in the last 24 years, she could count how many times she has seen me cry on her hand. Since d-day, it's been a lot more often. She feels remorse. She didn't have to confess, she did. And now she regrets telling me because of the pain she has seen me endure, but still thinks it was the right thing to do. She is trying to make it right. It's double hard for her. However, I have decided that I wasnt given a fair shake with her. So I bail now that I know how to deal with her problems? We should have gotten therapy before, I felt it was weak to do so because that was how I was brought up. Men can fix their own problems, we don't need strangers telling us what to do. I was wrong. People with BPD fear abandonment, would abandoning her now as she is trying to rebuild her mental health a cruel idea? Wouldn't that feed "the crazy" and prove to her she is worthless and everyone will leave her? Is my anger and pain more important than helping someone who has been torn apart by her uncontrolled inner demons for nearly her entire life? Didn't I promise to support her in sickness and in health? And isn't BPD a sickness?

Right now, my recovery is about doing my own therapy and making myself better. But I also know that she needs help too. And I'm going to help her. CBT/DBT therapy to start. Whether we D or R, I'll be there to help her, because that's what I promised to do. All I can do is wait, process my anger and pain, get help to be better, and be there for her. And maybe mail a box of manure to her affair partners. I dunno. I still love her, but what's she's done is almost unforgivable. Its going to take me time to process it. But I owe it to me, not her, to consider if we can get a fresh start with the right tools. Thankfully, I'm not in a hurry and I can give myself the time I need to make that consideration from a good place in my mind and not from an emotional state.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8705730
default

ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 11:11 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Betrayedmale - I am so sorry you are here. Let me just say that everything you are feeling is real and legitimate. It doesn't matter if others would or wouldn't do what you did with your M. It is your life, your M and only you know the reality with your WS. Having lived with a WS who had a very significant psychological break before his affair and witnessing the damage of the psychological issues after the affair made recovery for me even more complicated. Why? Because as you say we don't blame the psychological issues because we hold our WS's accountable (and they do too) but we understand the significant level of altered thinking that becomes a part of their world and it is absolutely mind boggling. It makes us feel at once completely protective of them or at least understanding AND so angry and resentful of their behavior and the damage they foisted on us. It also makes us feel badly about abandoning them. I kept asking myself if that was me, and I had really lost my alignment with reality, what would I want him to do? It isn't easy.

Eventually you will come to a place where you will put yourself first and only then can you really heal yourself. After that you can put up the boundaries that are healthy for you and by proxy, healthy for her. This is the key to our recovery. It took me quite some time to get this so the sooner you can realize this the better for you.

As for your WS,

When she gets mad or starts to think I'm being an jerk, she now stops and forces herself to reevaluate what I actually did or said and then calms herself down.

You know this is a good sign. You know this is her not liking who she was and trying to be a better person. She is trying but there are so many layers to her disorder that it is going to take quite a lot of work and retraining to get her to be a worthy partner to you. You get to decide the terms of your willingness to stay, or participate in her issues. You can be supportive while at the same time not getting emotionally wrapped into her issues. The only way she's really going to get through her BPD issues is to learn that she is enough. That's what my WS had to do and it was almost like he got worse before he got better as he worked to put himself back together. In retrospect I think maybe he should have done that on his own. Using me as his crutch only made it worse.

And that brings me right back to putting yourself first because once I did that he responded differently and I felt much more in control. I was no longer disappointed if he did not respond accordingly. That became his issue not mine and I could just identify that it was unacceptable and I wouldn't go along.

I hope you can find peace. I understand why you stay - it is complicated and we pour so much of ourselves into our relationship and we see the great parts of our partners even though they have forced us to see the bad. Sending you strength.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2726   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8705731
default

Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:42 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

But if I look at the entirety of my marriage, ... just the bad moments, but that there are also more good moments as well.... Our marriage is not defined by her affairs.

A lot of mileage. Big milestone life events, shared. I get it. However, are you familiar with the sunk cost fallacy?

Each of us is nothing other than the sum of our actions. Your marriage is in fact defined by her affairs, but not solely by her affairs. It is of course defined by the sum of her actions. Hating you. Vilifying you to others. Using that negative energy to justify infidelity marked by an extreme level of contempt and cruelty. As you describe it, the good times are few, fleeting, mostly involve your kids. You've not described any good times that involve a high degree of sexual brio from her directed to you.

At some point, if a married couple grows old together, there is a decent likelihood one may be called upon to provide physical care and even palliative care to the other. When this happens, the care-giving spouse is him- or herself old and frail. If it's you, will you have the drive to provide this to her? For most spouses in this stage, that drive is fueled by the stored memory of the tenderness and love received from the care-needing spouse. If the tables are turned, will she have the empathy and capacity to be your caregiver? Will you be able to rely on her?

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3808   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8705736
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220121 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy